The UK Border Agency has paid staff £295,000 worth of bonuses, despite its continuing poor performance.
MPs have criticised the Border Agency for rewarding staff despite the news – first reported in October – that 40,000 asylum cases may have to be abandoned because of difficulties. Some of the cases were six years old and classified as “abandoned incomplete”, with no record of whether applicants had been granted leave or refused permission to remain in the UK.
Ministers said there have been huge improvements to procedures, and insisted that bonuses were paid only for outstanding work.
But Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said that the bonus payout was astonishing, and that the Border Agency “still has a long way to go before it is operating as it should”.
The Home Affairs Committee, a cross-party group, has also called on the Home Office to bring forward its 2011 deadline for clearing cases, reports the BBC.