Biometric Residence Permits

Home Office written question – answered on 16th February 2021.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Service Level Agreement for the delivery of Biometric Residence Permits with TNT/FedEx, in what proportion of cases did TNT/FedEx not meet their first attempt delivery time targets, from 1 October 2020 to 1 February 2021.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Delays to customers receiving their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) can be for various reasons, relating to their individual application. This could be as a result of the following:

  • Biometrics not properly captured at the point of enrolment resulting in the BRP failing to progress to production after the decision to grant leave to remain or enter has been made.
  • Delay in the verification of the National Insurance Number process between UKVI and DWP. Subject to testing, an Application Programme Interface (API) is being introduced at end of February 2021 to speed up and reduce risk of error in this process.
  • A caseworker failing to request production of the BRP at point of decision.
  • Variable address quality issues may result in our delivery partner FedEx failing to be able to deliver the BRP.
  • Inability of FedEx to access property to deliver package securely.
  • Customer failing to arrange re-delivery after first delivery attempt.
  • Customer not present at address at time of delivery.
  • Customers failing to keep UKVI informed in good time of change of address.
  • Delays within UKVI Change of Address Team resulting in delays in updating UKVI systems with up to date addresses.
  • Customer failing to collect BRP within 90 days from a Post Office.

In December 2020 UKVI identified a failure relating to biometric enrolments through our overseas enrolment partner TLS, which was capturing oversized photographic images. This prevented 5,585 BRPs being produced between September 2020 and December 2020. On 22 January 2021 we wrote to all those customers affected to inform them of the problem. A technical fix has now been identified to resolve the problem and enable all the affected BRPs to be produced. The fix was introduced on 8 February 2021, all affected BRPs successfully printed on 9 February 2021. Customers affected will be written to on 10 February 2021 to inform them when their BRP will be either ready to collect from their chosen Post Office or delivered by FedEx to the address they provided during the application process.

UKVI does not hold figures relating to how many BRPs were delivered within ten working days, and we are unable to measure this from point of decision to point of delivery, through our supplier’s systems.

The DVLA, which produces BRPs, has an SLA to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. Between 1 October 2020 and 1 February 2021 it achieved 58.8% produced within 24 hours, and 95.4% within 48 hours. 4.6% took longer than 48 hours to produce.

The production of BRPs outside the 48 hour target was the result of a production failure at DVLA over a three working day period between 22 – 26 October 2020. The average processing time of the 19,250 affected was three working days. DVLA has not breached the 48 hour target since this date.

UKVI meets with DVLA weekly to monitor performance. The impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and safe working practices have reduced staffing capacity within the production site and contributed to the delays experienced.

Our secure delivery partner FedEx has a service level agreement to attempt first delivery of a BRP for 99% of packages collected from DVLA within 48. Between 1 October 2020 and end of December 2020, the latest assured figure available, FedEx achieved 92.4%.

FedEx does not keep figures relating to the average time it takes for the BRP to be delivered after the first delivery attempt. Successful re-delivery relies on the customer contacting FedEx to re-arrange delivery within 30 days of FedEx receiving the BRPs.

FedEx has a detailed improvement plan in place, and we meet with them twice a week to progress actions within the plan. We are confident that we will see improvements in service as they are implemented.

UKVI does not hold figures in relation to the number of delivery enquiries that were not responded to within the five working day SLA. However, we can confirm that the team responsible for responding to these enquiries are currently taking up to 30 working days to respond to enquiries. A recovery plan is being put in place with the aim to return to service levels by end of May 2021 subject to being able to onboard and train staff quickly.

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