COMMONS

Brodie Clark gives evidence to Home Affairs Committee

15 November 2011

In light of the resignation statement from Brodie Clark the committee can confirm that Mr Clark will appear on Tuesday 15 November 2011

He will give evidence on the operations of the UK Border Agency and specifically the relaxation of passport controls at the border and any further measures introduced between July and November 2011. He will also respond to the Home Secretary's evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday 8 November.

Before answering MPs questions Brodie Clark made a statement to the Home Affairs Committee.

Watch the evidence on Parliament TV

The committee has also invited Rob Whiteman, the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency and Damian Green, the Immigration Minister to give evidence.

Following the evidence from the Home Secretary the Chair of the committee, Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, has now written to the Home Secretary and also to Dame Helen Ghosh with further questions.

Committee Chair, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:

"The committee is determined to get to the bottom of this serious breach of security. The resignation statement of Mr Clark directly contradicts evidence given by Home Secretary to the Home Affairs Committee yesterday. It also contradicts the statements made since last Thursday which quoted that Mr Clark was solely responsible for the unauthorised relaxation of border checks.
I am grateful to him for agreeing to give evidence to the Committee where he will have the opportunity to give his account of events. The Committee will also put questions to Rob Whiteman, the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency."

Witnesses

At 11.30am

  • Brodie Clark

At 12pm 

  • Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of UKBA

Letter from Chairman to Rt. Hon Theresa May MP, the Home Secretary

UK Border Agency

Thank you for coming to give evidence to the Home Affairs Committee today. You agreed to provide us with some additional information about the UK Border Agency.

I would be grateful if you could supply us with answers to the following question:

  1. When was the Interim Operational Instruction of 28 July 2011 (Issue No. BF 01 29 11), or a draft of it, first seen by Home Office officials? Was it approved by the Home Office before being issued, and if so by whom?
  2. When did you agree to extend the original pilot from mid-September to November 2011?
  3. Please could you supply the Committee with copies of all communication between the Home Office and the UKBA relating to the pilot.
  4. Please could you supply the Committee with further details of the factual basis for the proposal for the introduction of the pilot—for example, any anticipated reductions in queuing time or improvements in security—as well as the terms of the pilot which you approved.
  5. Can you supply a complete list of those ports of entry where the pilot was introduced and details of the criteria under which they were selected for participation in the pilot?
  6. Please could you supply the Committee with the timetable for evaluating the pilot, as well as a copy of any evaluation which has already been conducted by UKBA?
  7. A paragraph on the second page of the Operational Instruction refers to the need to consult the Border Force Duty Director if it is considered necessary to take further measures, beyond those listed in the Operational Instruction. You said that this referred to an earlier Instruction concerning health and safety, first issued in 2007. Please could you supply a copy of that instruction?
    a. Can you indicate how many times this piece of health and safety instruction was utilised prior to the pilot commencing in July 2011?
    b. How many times was the operation instruction utilised during the pilot period?
  8. You mentioned that you “told officials explicitly that the pilot was to go no further than we had agreed.” How did you notify UKBA officials of you request and why did you feel it was necessary to be explicit on this issue?
  9. How many times have you met with Brodie Clark in the past year, and how many times between July and November 2011?
  10. When were you informed that border checks had been further relaxed?
  11. When were you informed that Brodie Clark had been suspended?
  12. What evidence was provided to you that indicated the reasons behind Rob Whiteman suspending Brodie Clark?
  13. Have you spoken with Brodie Clark or a representative for him since he was suspended last Thursday and since he resigned on 8 November 2011?
  14. What is the total number of people who entered Britain by month between July–November 2011? Please could you also provide these details for July–November 2010?

We are inviting Brodie Clark, Rob Whiteman and Damian Green to give evidence to the Committee next Tuesday morning. It would be helpful to have your responses by midday on Friday 11 November so that we can consider them before that meeting.

(3) Letter from Chairman to Dame Helen Ghosh, Permanent Secretary of the Home Office

UK Border Agency

I am writing regarding the operation of the UK Border Agency and specifically on relaxation of passport controls at the border and any further measures introduced between July and November 2011.

I would be grateful if you could supply the Committee with answers to the following question:

  1. Did you approve the Interim Operational Instruction of 28 July 2011 (Issue No. BF 01 29 11), or see a draft of it?
  2. When you were first informed about the original pilot from September to November 2011?
  3. How many times have you met with Brodie Clark in the past year and how many times between July and November 2011?
  4. When were you informed that border checks had been further relaxed?
  5. When were you informed that Brodie Clark had been suspended?
  6. Can you confirm that no Minister or official at the Home Office knew of measures taken by the UKBA, beyond those listed in the Operational Instruction?
  7. Can you describe the arrangements for the oversight of the UKBA by (a) the Home Secretary, (b) other Ministers and (c) Home Office officials?
    a. What are the logging systems in place within the Home Office for decisions made within UKBA? b. What processes are in place to notify UKBA staff of new procedures and who is responsible for authorising these notifications?

We are inviting Brodie Clark and Rob Whiteman to give evidence to the Committee next Tuesday morning. It would be helpful to have your responses by midday on Friday 11 November so that we can consider them before that meeting.

Further Information

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