The UK Border Agency faced a new crisis last week when their IT system crashed under the huge volume of applications, making it impossible to verify or issue biometric visas. Hundreds were turned away at the Croyden office as a result.
A home office spokesperson said that contingency plans were being considered, including a “premium service by post.”
“We will prioritise completing all outstanding applications and those with cancelled appointments can rebook through the UK Border Agency website or can submit postal applications using our postal service.”
This service delivery disaster is the latest in a string of blunders for the Home Office. The UKBA came under fire from National Audit Office (NAO) last year, which blamed its immigration system faults on IT failures. It was also revealed recently that UKBA has failed to meet its passenger-processing targets at Heathrow. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, has said that he will be raising this shambles with UKBA CEO Rob Whiteman when he comes before the committee on 15 May and calls the situation “yet another example of UKBA’s failure to plan properly for a new scheme”.
He added: “UKBA must ensure they have the technology in place to cope with new policy before it is introduced.”
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