MPs slam UK Border Agency

The under-fire UK Border Agency must rid itself of its “bunker mentality” or risk raising suspicions that it is trying to mislead parliament and the public, MPs warned today.

Unclear data – which even the agency’s own chief executive, Rob Whiteman, had difficulty in following – can be at best confusing and at worst misleading, the House of Commons home affairs select committee said.

“It is difficult to see how senior management and ministers can be confident that they know what is going on if the ‘agency’ cannot be precise in the information it provides to this committee,” the third damning report of the year into the UKBA’s work said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The ‘agency’ must rid itself of its bunker mentality and focus on ensuring that Parliament and the public understands its work.

“Confusion over figures only risks suspicion that the ‘agency’ is attempting to mislead Parliament and the public over its performance and effectiveness.

“The only way the Home Office can allay and remove these fears is to clean up and clarify all the figures that are used in these reports.”

Dame Helen Ghosh, the permanent secretary to the Home Office, should also set out how she “intends to clean up the use of statistics within the department”, the committee said.