Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre

Home Department written question – answered on 22nd January 2014.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Sport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons on an unannounced inspection of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre on 5 to 16 August 2013, what steps her Department plans to take to improve scrutiny of GEO Group UK Ltd management of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Minister for Immigration

All immigration removal centres operated by the private sector, including Harmondsworth, have their contracts managed by a central commercial team. The Home Office has staff based in each immigration removal centre to monitor contract delivery and compliance. Meetings take place with the contractor, at an operational level on a weekly basis and, on a commercial level on a quarterly basis.

The performance by the contractor running Harmondsworth has been below the high standard expected and in response to the inspection report a Service Improvement Plan is being drawn up addressing each recommendation made and outlining what action will be taken.

Under the protocol with Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons this will be undertaken within two months of the report's publication. Thereafter, the Home Office has 18 months to effect the improvements.

However, the Home Office has already engaged with the contractor and put in place a range of actions to address the areas of immediate concern.

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