Home Department written question – answered on 13th October 2011.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent progress has been made on the implementation of the new asylum processing system.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Immigration

The Asylum Improvement Project was set up to explore new ways to speed up the processing of asylum applications. We have already seen improvement outcomes from this project which include:

replacing the old PSA target with a new performance framework to ensure that the whole system remains in balance; introducing better, shorter guidance for case owners on sensitive issues, including gender; revision of our policies for dealing with applications from lesbian and gay asylum seekers.

The improvements that we have made to our processes have already had a positive impact on performance:

Eurostat statistics show that in June 2010 there were nearly 7,720 asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application. In July 2011 that had reduced to 5,670 and this is despite an increase in applications.

We are making decisions more quickly. On average 59% of applications now receive a decision within 30 days.

Our internal audit process shows that the quality of our decisions has remained high.

The cost of the asylum support system has been reduced by over £100 million in the last year.

Removals are getting faster. 19% of asylum seekers are now removed within 12 months.

We continue to pursue an ongoing programme of innovation and reform to ensure that the asylum system delivers swifter, higher quality case conclusions, delivered at significantly lower cost to the taxpayer.

Further information on the Asylum Improvement Project can be found in its one-year-on progress report published in May 2011. The report can be found on the UK Border Agency website at:

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