Temporary director generals appointed to UK immigration service

07 May 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Two temporary director generals have been appointed to oversee the UK immigration service as the Home Office continues to organise the disbanding of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced earlier this year.

Sarah Rapson, former chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, has been appointed to oversee the UK visa and immigration side of matters, while David Wood, a former director of operations for the UKBA, will head up immigration enforcement.

The two posts represent the split of the UKBA into two clear operations. The Home Office will be responsible for both, but one will be focusing on UK visas for businesses and travellers, while the other will handle abuses of the system.

Permanent Home Office secretary Mark Sedwill commented on the new arrangement: "The Home Secretary has been clear that the new commands will have distinct cultures. The first will be a high-volume service that makes high-quality decisions, focusing on customer satisfaction for business travellers who want to come here legally and on specialist case working functions for UK asylum and complex cases.

"The second will be an organisation that has law enforcement at its heart and gets tough on those who break our immigration laws."

A spokesperson for Kings Court Chambers added that the Home Office is keen to implement the changes to the system "very swiftly". The representative added: "The recruitment of two interim directors suggests that the Home Office has a strategic plan in place to completely overhaul the system and make it more efficient and less secretive."

Home Secretary Theresa May announced the disbanding of the UKBA back in March, following a Home Affairs Committee report, which stated that the institution is "not fit for purpose". Ms May added that the new departments will no longer hold agency status and will be required to report directly to ministers in order to reduce the risk of current problems reoccuring.