Feeds

Rubbish IT means DEATH for UK Border Agency, announces May

Only a bullet can end the monster's blundering misery

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The UK Border Agency's hopeless IT systems are among the reasons why the Home Secretary Theresa May, in an unscheduled statement to MPs yesterday afternoon, confirmed that the UKBA will be axed.

She told the House of Commons that the agency would be replaced with two entities: an immigration and visa service and a separate law enforcement organisation. Both outfits will report directly to ministers in the Home Office. The previous agency status will be altogether scrapped.

May said:

UKBA was given agency status in order to keep its work at an arm’s length from ministers. That was wrong. It created a closed, secretive and defensive culture.

The Home Secretary was particularly scathing of the UKBA's "inadequate" IT systems for being "incompatible" and unreliable.

"They require manual data entry instead of automated data collection, and they often involve paper files instead of modern electronic case management," said May. "So I have asked the Permanent Secretary and Home Office Board to produce a new plan, building on the work done by Rob Whiteman, UKBA’s chief executive, to modernise IT across the whole immigration system."

The Home Sec said that the UKBA had been riddled with problems since its formation in 2008 and highlighted four distinct problems with the agency - with IT systems being one of those issues.

May said it operated within a "complicated legal framework" and that its unwieldy nature meant there were "conflicting cultures" within the organisation. She argued that the UKBA's current agency status meant that it had lacked "accountability and transparency".

"All those things mean it will take many years to clear the backlogs and fix the system," the Home Sec said.

This is the latest and now final dismantling of the UKBA.

In February last year, May divorced Blighty's Border Force from the agency following a series of embarrassing passport check gaffes in 2011.

During the busy summer months of that year, immigration border guards had been told to ignore biometric chips on the passports of non-eurozone citizens. The blunder led to UK Border Force chief Brodie Clark being scalped by May.

In 2012, the National Audit Office found that a £385m computer system being built for the UK's Border Agency and Border Force to process immigrants' paperwork was a year behind schedule and £28m over budget. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.