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back to article Home Sec splits Border Agency after passport checks fiasco

Blighty's Border Force is to be divorced from the UKBA following a series of embarrassing passport check gaffes last summer, the Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs yesterday. "[F]rom 1 March, the UK Border Force will be split from UKBA and will become a separate operational command, with its own ethos of law enforcement, led by …

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Anonymous Coward

Blimey, a proper investigation that shows that a UK MP is actually blameless (in this at least) and the correct party fell on the sword. Then we get firm and appropriate action. Did I slip into a parallel universe on the way to work?

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No I expect something like...

The crap didn't work / could not handle high volume but they pushed it out anyway.

People in the field had the choice of turn it off, or have line-ups backup onto the runways.

MP cries that it's not their fault, they never gave permission for the crap to not work.

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Parallel Universe

Nope tis but the return of a conservative government. It may seem a bit strange after the years of Brown and Blair.

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Black Helicopters

"officials asked for permission to sometimes suspend Secure ID checks"

I smell something fishy going on here.

Waving Mossad operatives through, are we?

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Joke

Re: "officials asked for permission to sometimes suspend Secure ID checks"

Not Mossad agents, terrorists:

Allah u UKBA!

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Anonymous Coward

anyone?

I keep hearing this "split into two" concept, but what are the two bits going to be individually responsible for? Upper Borders and Lower Borders? Inner and Outer? Collie and Herbaceous?

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Meh

Re: anyone?

I'm not an expert so this could be total garbage....

From what I can see, the intention is that the UKBA will remain the focal point for the paperwork; passports, visas, immigration applications etc. Basically the paper pushers

The Border Force will be the people that actually man the gates at the points of entry into the country. A sort of police force force but with only specific powers of arrest for specific crimes.

I think that it does make sense to try to get the processes under control, but I would be concerned that this is just adding to the administrative burden. (more uncivil servants!)

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Joke

Re: anyone?

People coming into the country and people going out of the country. What could be simpler?

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Coat

Re: anyone?

And who patrols the border between UKBA and the Border Force?

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@Tony S

Yeah, that sounds about right. But probably means that one bit will make the rules, and the other has to apply them. That always works really well.

Probably someone in UKBA says "...and then you have to check the DNA of the person entering the country" without talking to the Border Force who have no way to do this at all....

As far as the Border FarceForce goes, you just have to fly in to Bristol after about 18:00 or at the weekends. You might find someone there checking things, but if you are not supposed to be in the country, they just give you a slip of paper with an address on it and ask you nicely to go there the next morning/Monday because everyone has gone home for the night!

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Anonymous Coward

Let's do something! Hear hear! This is something! et cetera.

Maybe this is entirely the right thing to do from an organisational standpoint. Maybe not. I can't tell. There's more where that came from, and it bears investigation. Just why were those fancy things turned off? What about the people that don't need them (for example as promised us by the Schengen treaty, but oh how did ID checks pervade everywhere else because of it), are they being fingerprinted and all that? Why did they think this approach was a good idea in the first place, and on what grounds? Were there any, or was this based on just another unfounded assumption? You know, like those rather daming automated face recognition reports on airports. What was this really about? I'm afraid we do need to know. Nothing like a faulty bureaucracy with faulty tech to hide behind and shift the blame to someone else, anybody else.

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What a novel solution

Renaming an agency that fscked up

Splitting it's responsibilities so in the future nobody will be sure exactly who fscked up

Appearing on the today programme to show that something 'must be done' (tm)

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WTF?

Non-Eurozone citizens

What's the Euro got to do with it? Surely you mean non-EU citizens?

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FAIL

Someone authorized the checks to be discontinued.

Same person quits.

Result: 2 agencies. That makes sense where exactly?

I have a better result: Throw Brodie in jail for 5 years. I guarantee the next one to take the post would never consider this same level of crap.

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FAIL

Yeah, that'll make sure that no one in charge ever dares to use their initiative to solve a problem.

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Sad but true

This is probably going to go over the heads and understandings of most people methinks.

What it demonstrates it that non-elected bodies partial to public funding prefer to act in a way that makes and attaches no responsibilities to the funding provider.

Is that a wrong? (You might ask and I hope you don't mind me asking it for you.)

Yes, I am glad you asked.

It is on par with UK armed forces declaring or making war because they wanted to with no consideration from/by governance.

"We take yooz muni an we dooz wot we want" might be a punk rock motto but should never ever be observed in practice or principle by publicly funded organisations especially those funded by the Commons and commoners (don't get me started on the Lords - a much misaligned and important UK tradition for sure).

It also highlights that UK civil servantry have been dwelling in the shadows for far too long, manipulating things for far too long and undermined the will of the Commons for far too long.

These are not poor governance issues alone.

It looks as if the 21st C has been blighted on the discovery of effects of shoddy governance (the banks, finance sector, poor accountancy practices, North Atlantic credit crisis, ... all demonstrate slovenly governance, so there!

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Re: Sad but true

Mr Taken - I agree entirely. The executive are supposed to work within the rules set by the legislature. However, don't blame the PBI too much on this one - so much woolly primary legislation with the option for the responsible Secretary of State* to make secondary legislation, contradictions with other statutes, piss-poor drafting has been introduced over the last twenty years. Add to this the shitty idea of so many quangos ("Agencies") that effectively operate outside the law, the Chief Execs of which *do* have virtually unconstrained power until the SoS decides to call her/him to heel because something has happened that might cause the SoS some embarrassment, and this is the result.

The answer is to get rid of every single Agency there is, and bring them properly back into the law. Make it clear the the buck stops at the SoS. It is, however, too much to expect that we will ever get proper statute-making again, thought that would be the ideal.

* I know "responsible" and "Secretary of State" creates a very untidy concept, since the art of government seems to be never to be seen to be responsible for anything.

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Sad but true (rant) part 2

It really demonstrates treason.

Civil servants taking public dosh, acknowledging governance instruction and strategic aim... then just going off to do what they want to do with no openness, accountability or transparency.

Luverli innit?

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Boffin

Politician tellint the Truth

I know who I would rather believe and it's not the politician. I consider them professional liars!

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FAIL

Who was it who described the UK BA as "Not fit for purpose"?

Only it does not seem to have gotten much better since.

It's true it's better to keep people out than have to find them and turf them out *years* later.

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PBI?

Pi** poor governance and myopic strategic setting make it easy for UK (un)civil servantry to do what they want to do only with a multitude of excuses (not one of which is acceptable).

If civil servantry wants to retain its power let it also embrace openness, transparancy and accountability.

(That whooshing sound in the background is made by senior servants aiming to cash in their pensions and avoid accountability at any cost. Why?)

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