Outsourcing of asylum interview process – deeply concerning and wrong, says PCS 

28 Sep 2020

PCS has condemned plans to bring in a private contractor to run interviews of asylum seekers.  

Members in the Home Office raised the alarm after they became aware of the pilot scheme, which could see vulnerable people fleeing persecution have their applications dealt with by private contractors like Serco.  

Face-to-face interviews have been restarted following the outbreak of Covid-19 global pandemic. 

The Home Office says that due to a backlog of asylum claims, it is exploring “many options” and did not rule out the move but denied that the service had been outsourced.  

PCS has a number of concerns about selling off a key part of the asylum process to a private contractor, including the impact on the civil service code, whether the private contractor will be exempt from human rights legislation and the fact that contracting out undermines the public service ethos within the civil service.  

General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is wrong and concerning that the Home Office is considering contracting out such an important service to a private contractor.  

“People seeking refuge in this country should be treated with respect and dignity and outsourcing the service to a company that is solely interested in private profit, is at odds with those values.

“Our members don’t need private contractors coming in and taking over services. What they need is a well-resourced, well-staffed and humane department, dedicated to helping those in need.”  

PCS is calling on the Home Office to fully consult us and has urged an in-house solution to be found. 

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