- A Humane service for global citizens
- Report on the South London Citizens enquiry into service provision by the Immigration and Natinality Directorate
- Back, Les; Farell, Bernadette; Vandermaas, Erin
- South London Citizens
Focusing on service provision at Lunar House, the enquiry aims to identify the main concerns of staff and users of the immigration service, and accordingly recommend changes where deficiencies are found. The enquiry also aims to explore ways in which Lunar House can be made more user-friendly.
Evidence was gathered from staff and users of Lunar House [348 individuals] and 50 other relevant organisations, including the Home Office, to gain an understanding of user and staff experiences. Testimonies from the public represent 198 surveys, 30 written submissions and 20 oral testimonies. Testimonies from staff at Lunar House represent 62 surveys, 16 anonymous written submissions and 14 oral testimonies. Further evidence was received from a wealth of Refugee Community Organisations [RCOs], universities and other relevant organisations.
The perceptions of senior staff of the quality of services offered at Lunar House differed greatly from the evidence presented to the enquiry. It was perceived that minimum standards of comfort afforded to British citizens do not apply to migrants waiting for services at Lunar House. Areas of immediate concern include the quality of facilities for applicants, the quality and fairness of transactions, the quality of IT and record keeping and the working conditions of staff. The government, through its policy and approach to asylum, indirectly controls the way in which people come into contact with Lunar House and the conditions under which these services are provided.
The recommendations of the enquiry suggest potential improvements at Lunar House in three separate categories: facilities, service and staff. Below are a selection of these recommendations:
• an enhanced ticketing system for queuing should be introduced so that people can leave the queue to use the toilet and for child-care purposes;
• complaint forms and procedures should be available to all service users, and instructions of how to complain about services should be as clear as possible. The public should be assisted in reporting grievances. The complainant must be informed that their complaint will be treated in confidence and will therefore not influence the outcome of their application for asylum;
• applicants should be informed of their rights concerning interpreters, and caseworkers should be encouraged to record the applicants’ language needs carefully on the screening interview form;
• staff attitudes to asylum seekers must be monitored so that populist attitudes do not infiltrate the IND; its mission to provide an impeccable service to the public should be upheld;
• attention must be given to find ways to relieve staff stress at Lunar House to retain staff morale;
• resources must be allocated to improve and maintain the quality of initial decision-making through training and investment.
- Resource Type
- Research report
- Contact Details
- South London Citizens. 112 Cavell Street London E1 2JA. tel: 020 7375 1658 website: www.southlondoncitizens.org.uk/
- £ 12