Watchdog to probe how Home Office works with other departments on immigration

Call for evidence from independent inspector comes as department plays key role in cross-Whitehall preparations for Brexit


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By Richard Johnstone

11 Apr 2018

The Home Office’s relationship with four other departments is to be put under the spotlight after the immigration watchdog launched an inspection of partnership working with the education, health, and work and pensions departments, and HM Revenue and Customs.

The independent chief inspector of borders and immigration today began an inquiry looking at partnership working between the Home Office and other government departments in support of the former’s asylum, immigration, nationality and customs functions.


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Inspector David Bolt announced the review in a call for evidence from people with experience of the department’s work with the four other Whitehall departments.

This work includes data-sharing with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in relation to patients who have been charged for NHS-funded care and have failed to make payment, and collaborative working with HMRC on employment, finances and residence, with a particular focus on the exercise of EU treaty rights. Its relationship with the Department for Work and Pensions will also be examined to assess the effectiveness of checks on people who have accessed public funds to which they are not entitled, and to verify the issuing of National Insurance numbers.

The role of the Department for Education in relation to entitlement to state education and/or free school meals will also be reviewed.

The examination comes as the Home Office plays a key role in the UK's preparation for Brexit, developing a settled status scheme for EU nationals. This scheme will allow EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK after Brexit to apply for the status, which will provide them with residency rights as well as access to public funds and services.

Submissions are sought by 24 April to either chiefinspector@icinspector.gsi.gov.uk or in writing to ICIBI, 5th Floor, Globe House, 89 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PN.

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