UK Border Agency shells out 13 million pounds to asylum seekers in error

August 2nd, 2010 - 7:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 2 (ANI): The UK Border Agency’s annual accounts have shown that it shelled out 13 million pounds to asylum seekers in error over the past two years. It overpaid 9.6 million pounds in 2008-09 and another 3.5 million pounds in 2009-10.

According to The Sun, the agency blamed a system malfunction for the horrifying gaffe, which indicate that automatic payments never stopped when decisions were made to withdraw asylum support. To prevent itself from further shame, it stated that new checks have been introduced to ensure that such incident doesn’t happen again.

“Overpayments should not be happening and we are committed to seeing them dramatically reduced. It is crucial that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely,” Agency chief executive Lin Homer said.

The asylum seekers were not the only ones to benefit from the agency’s shocking failures.

Staffs were overpaid 4.3 million pounds after they quit or notified bosses at late notice that they were going on unpaid leave.

Some 1.4 million pounds of the cash, involving around 600 cases, was being written off as unrecoverable.

The agency was forced to hand over a total of around 3 million pounds last year in compensation including 2.1 million pounds to 40 under18s who were wrongly detained as adults and sums of around 360,000 pounds each to two members of the public who were unlawfully detained and 330,000 pounds to a refugee who was treated as an adult rather than a minor due to delays processing paperwork.

The agency is in dispute over 12 million pounds claimed by six organisations which provide accommodation for asylum seekers, the accounts revealed. (ANI)

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