§ Sir John Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for introducing an independent element into the procedures for handling complaints against the Immigration and Nationality Department.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
Complaints against the Immigration and Nationality Department—including those involving the immigration service—are thoroughly investigated, and complainants informed of the outcome. My right hon. and learned Friend has, however, decided that confidence in the complaints system would be enhanced if there were an independent means of monitoring the health of the system. He intends to appoint a complaints audit committee, comprising three members. The committee's remit will be to satisfy itself as to the effectiveness of the procedures for investigating complaints; to draw IND management's attention to any weakness; and to make an annual report to my right hon. and learned Friend. The committee will have access to ail papers on complaints investigations, but will not be involved in the investigation of individual complaints or decisions in individual cases. The powers of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration are unaffected.