Target on support decisions missed

The government is failing to meet its target to decide within five working days whether to provide support to failed asylum seekers.

Immigration minister Tony McNulty told parliament that the National Asylum Support Service was unable to meet the target for all those applying for section four support because of a “very significant increase” in applications.

But he said the target had been met in the past year and that the service expected to “routinely” meet it by the end of the year.

In most cases, section four support consists of accommodation and 35 of vouchers for essential items. It is given to failed asylum seekers unable to return home because of events beyond their control.

McNulty added that electronic monitoring of asylum seekers without their consent had a “positive” impact on their compliance with conditions.

From July to September, 47 of 53 people who initially failed to comply with telephone reporting arrangements began to do so after being threatened with redetention.

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