In PLP’s evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, which was cited in their report, we pointed out flaws in the Home Office’s Asylum Transformation programme.

Read our evidence here

The committee’s report drew on our concerns for a number of recommendations reflecting our priorities, including:

  • A clear plan from the Home Office on how it will increase caseworker numbers
  • Data published about how many claims have been implicitly withdrawn – and whether that’s due to people being unable to fill out the complex questionnaire
  • A statement on when the Home Office intends to end the use of hotels as contingency asylum accommodation
  • A strategy for adjusting the process to suit people’s vulnerable characteristics
  • A single business case published on the objectives and justifications of the Asylum Transformation Programme, so that Parliament and civil society can hold it accountable.

The report also specifically mentioned our concerns about a new questionnaire, designed to streamline the asylum process for people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Sudan.

Alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, PLP pointed out that the questionnaire is poorly designed and only available in English.

Our evidence states:

It is wholly unrealistic to expect a vulnerable asylum seeker, who may not speak English and who is likely to be in a state of shock and trauma, to fill in a complicated questionnaire without assistance and advice.

There has been a clear increase in asylum claims being withdrawn. If that’s because the focus on streamlining cases has led to flawed decisions, the Home Office must act urgently to prevent vulnerable people being left behind by administrative failure.

Our full insights published here