§ Lord Gainford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have any plans for introducing an independent element into the procedures for handling complaints against the Immigration and Nationality Department.48WA
Complaints against the Immigration and Nationality Department (including those involving the Immigration Service) are thoroughly investigated, and complainants informed of the outcome. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary 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. We intend to appoint a complaints audit committee, comprising three members. The committee's remit will be to satisfy themselves 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 honourable friend. The committee will have access to all 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.