Immigration minister Beverley Hughes has conceded that the National
Asylum Support Service, responsible for supporting and dispersing
asylum seekers, has failed to “establish a clear strategy to
provide purpose, direction and governance of its activities.”
That’s Home Office-speak for “the whole thing’s a bit of a
shambles” – a fact that those who deal with Nass have known for
Now an independent review into its operation has highlighted a
catalogue of failings. The organisation has been hopeless at
sorting out its many administrative errors which have left
vulnerable families without support for weeks and sometimes months.
It has been poor at working with its partners in local authorities
and the voluntary sector. Nass officials never seem to answer the
phone… the list goes on.
At least we assume it goes on. All that’s been provided is a short
extract of what appears to be a highly critical report. When the
government announced it was setting up an independent review the
expectation was, naturally enough, that its findings would be
published. We believe it is in the public interest that the full
report should be released immediately.