Having one HR person for every 26 members of staff has been identified as part of the problem at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, after the Home Office came under fire for failing to consider deporting more than 1,000 foreign offenders when they were freed from jail.
The home secretary, Charles Clarke, admitted last night that he had considered resigning over the bungle that resulted in the release of 1,023 overseas criminals – including murderers, rapists and paedophiles – since 1999.
It was later revealed that nearly 300 of the 1,023 foreign prisoners were released after the government had been informed of the problem last summer.
Richard Bacon, Conservative member of the Public Accounts Committee which uncovered the problems, said: “It is down to chaos and lack of communication, but it certainly isn’t down to lack of people.
“The Immigration and Nationality Directorate has got 14,500 staff, 540 of whom work in the HR department. They just simply have got to use the resources they’ve got available and talk to each other.”
The error occurred because the Prison Service was not focused on the nationality of its prisoners and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate was preoccupied with other matters, Clarke admitted.