The reason for tabling this probing amendment is twofold: first, it is to get some idea from the Minister how private contractors who detain and escort people to and from where they have been staying are monitored and whether it has been successful and, secondly, what steps are being put in place to ensure the supervision of the new contracted staff.
As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary said, contracting out immigration support services is not new. There are already substantive processes in place to monitor and oversee, specifically at ground level through the contractual arrangements in place to secure the contract. At a broader level they are monitored by a Government body. There is no reason to depart from established practices, which are well respected and which we seek to emulate. The notion that an independent person would be better and, in some magical fashion, better disposed and efficient at such monitoring than a Crown service is insulting. I ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.
‘()The Secretary of State shall draw up a Code of Practice setting out the powers and appropriate practices for persons authorised under section 35. The Code—
(a)shall be made by statutory instrument,
(b)may not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.’.
Very simply, the amendment would make those authorised under section 35 subject to a code of practice.
In three words: unnecessary, redundant and otiose. Subsection (1)(a), (b) and (c) give us a monitor and give him the power to inspect from time to time the way in which the powers are exercised, and the ability to investigate and report to the Secretary of State. Far more will be achieved by that monitoring than by any code of practice. The amendment is otiose and should be withdrawn.