Deep-rooted institutional and cultural problems undermine the Home Office’s performance and approach to crime, immigration, and asylum seekers – and are neglected by ministers at their peril.
This report says Suella Braverman is wrong to have watered down the Home Office’s commitment to reforms set out in Wendy Williams’ Windrush scandal lessons learned review.
It calls on:
- The home secretary to publicly re-commit to the Windrush reforms in full – five years on from the Windrush scandal – with a new departmental improvement plan, to mark June’s 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival in the UK.
- Rishi Sunak to commission a long-term review of the government’s home affairs systems and services which identifies the best structure and governance through which to manage migration, integration, border, crime and security policy.
The report assesses the Home Office’s size, budget and morale – with the Home Office’s staff engagement the second lowest of any core Whitehall department – and examines policy problems, from small boats to Windrush schemes. It also explores the cultural and institutional problems which repeatedly undermine the department’s performance.
- A failure to work collaboratively with other government departments or organisations, most notably in its handling of the asylum system.
- A lack of openness either within its policy making or in its attitude to outside scrutiny, such as dropping a plan to create a new independent migrants’ commissioner role.
- A ministerial failure to evidence how policies – such as the Rwanda asylum scheme or the Illegal Migration Bill – adhere to the department’s stated values of “compassion, respect, courage and collaboration”.