Annual report reveals UKBA expenditure

04 Jul 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Annual reports have revealed that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) spent millions on on legal bills for immigrants who won their court cases.

The papers showed that the now defunct agency spent more than £13 million on the legal bills. The department also spent £382,000 on hotel rooms that were block booked by staff on duty during the Olympics but never used and £2.5 million on flights for failed asylum seekers who were later given the right to stay. The money spent on flights was a 24 per cent increase on the previous year.

Opening a debate on immigration controls in the House of Lords, Conservative peer Lord Marlesford accused the UKBA of being of "inadequate calibre".

He added: "In five years there have been 30 members of Home Office staff who have received heavy prison sentences - up to nine years in one case and several of three, four and five years for misconduct in public office and the great majority of these were from the Border Agency."

The UKBA was disbanded by Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this year and split into two bodies; one half of the department is now responsible for organising UK visas and work permits for applicants and the other is responsible for immigration law enforcement. The department was opened up and is now answerable to to ministers in an attempt to tackle its flaws.