MPs criticise asylum housing scheme management
- 24 Apr
A report by the Commons committee has concluded that G4S and Secro have lacked the required experience for the task.
The Public Accounts Committee has said that the Home Office scheme has resulted in asylum seekers being places in "unacceptable poor" housing due to being "badly managed", reports the BBC.
The Home Office said, while it accepted there were "challenges" with contracts, it was "disappointed" by the findings.
"The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and providing accommodation while applications are considered," a spokesman added
The three companies had been brought in to replace 22 separate contacts which provide housing to asylum seekers in need. The PAC had said the scheme was intended to save £140m over seven years, however only £8m was saved in the first year.
"The change was poorly planned and badly managed and is unlikely to yield the savings intended," said committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge.
"G4S and Serco had no previous experience of accommodating asylum seekers. Instead of brokering a smooth transition between outgoing and incoming contractors and with local authorities, the Home Office short-sightedly decided to take a hands-off approach and only allowed three months to get the new contracts up and running. G4S and Serco failed to inspect and check the properties before taking them over. This lack of information contributed to delays, extra cost, and disruption and confusion for a very vulnerable group of service users. The standard of the accommodation provided has often been unacceptably poor for a very fragile group of individuals and families. The companies failed to improve quality in a timely manner. None of this was helped by the department's failure to impose penalties on contractors in the transition period. It is disturbing that over a year into the contract the accommodation is still not of the required standard and the department has only chalked up £8m in savings."
The committee has called upon the Home Office to not change a contracting model in the future without a "clear business case" to justify the decision. It has also called upon the department to re-examine its saving forecasts to make sure they were realistic and achievable.
90% of those requiring accommodation were able to remain in their exisiting place of residence whilst contracts were changes however around 2,000 asylum seekers who had to move said they received "mixed messages" and those messages were "not routinely translated".
The Home Office spokesman said that NAO report had "also found that the transition to our new providers was well-managed and noted that operational performance is improving".
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.freeimages.com/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1094183
- 08 May
Delays in the asylum system leaving many refugees homeless
The charity is calling on the government to review its system so that delays are eliminated in issuing documentation.In the report, titled '28 Days Later: the experience of new refugees in the UK',...
- 21 Feb
Asylum Seekers let down by G4S
The study took place in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, prepared on behalf of South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) and Notog4sYorkshire Plus, for the Independent...
- 14 Dec
Consistent Problems for Detainees
The two inspectorates interviewed a total of 81 detainees to establish the factors relevant to the decision to detain or maintain detention, and the impact that detention was having on them. They...
- 21 Nov
G4S Asylum Seeker Housing Declared Unfit
Parliamentary inquiry into housing provided to asylum seeker families by G4S is not fit for children to live in.--> --> --> -->Women staying in hostels provided by G4S have reported...
- 15 Oct
Pakistani Girl fighting for education will receive treatment in the UK
Until now, she has been at a military hospital in Rawalpindi, but London had offered to help her in any way, so the evacuation has been arranged by the Pakistani authorities after an assessment by...
- 05 Oct
Child starved to death after benefits delay
Further tragedies are increasingly likely as more asylum claims are processed while support funding dries up, organisations claim.Details of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of ‘child...
- 01 Oct
Pregnant women, children and people with disabilities among those living on less than 77p a day
Pregnant women, children and people with disabilities are among those who have been left destitute on Scotland's streets, according to a report by the Scottish Poverty Information Unit (pdf) which is...
- 24 Sep
Asylum Seeker Process can cause Mental Health Problems for Children
A study by The Childrens Society shows the link between the troubles children have when claiming asylum and their mental health and well being.Of the 3,000 unaccompanied children that claim asylum in...
- 20 Aug
Championing Asylum Rights After Death of Whole Family
The decision not to carry out a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of three asylum seekers in Glasgow brings to an end a sorry tale of desperation.Russian refugees Serguei, Tatiana and Stepan...
Revenue Optimisation "I am really impressed with Support Solutions and how small organisations are supported with information and training" Susan Harrison (Tenant Support Services)