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Unfit To Govern, Memo From Gov Condones Fraud!

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Working the system

By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

How even a fake visa will do at the Jobcentre

Click here to read Memo to chief investigation officer at the Department of Work and Pensions in full

THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants are being issued with national insurance numbers every year even though officials know that they have suspect immigration documents.

Staff in Jobcentres have been told that they have a duty to issue an NI number even if they realise that the applicant has forged documents and no legal right to work, official papers seen by The Times reveal.

The NI number, which employers regard as a prerequisite to work, can also be used to claim various benefits.

When Jobcentre staff have evidence or suspicions that an applicant has no right to work in Britain, they pass information to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to consider prosecution. Last year, the details of 3,300 immigrants granted NI numbers on the basis of suspect documents were passed on, but the Home Office admitted yesterday that it had no figures for prosecutions. A spokesman said: “We would not have a number for prosecutions of people who falsified immigration documents in order to get a national insurance number”.

Lord Grabiner, QC, who called for reform of the system in a report to ministers six years ago, last night called the situation a scandal. He said: “One of my key concerns was that if you got hold of an NI number then it gave you access to all kinds of benefits — everything that was going. It was a fundamental part of the story.”

The disclosure will cause another headache for John Reid, the Home Secretary, because it highlights yet another area of the immigration system that officials described yesterday as “not fit for purpose”.

The disclosure by The Times comes after the release of more than 1,000 foreign prisoners without deportation checks and the admission by a senior Home Office official that he did not have the “faintest idea” how many illegal immigrants there were in Britain.

MPs said last night that the disclosure highlighted the lack of joined-up government and the depth of the crisis over illegal immigration.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “Failing to check the immigration status of individuals seeking NI numbers is one thing but deliberately issuing those numbers even when the Department for Work and Pensions suspects, and in some cases knows, the document to be forged is a travesty of the system in place”.

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THE MEMO

Memo to chief investigation officer at the Department of Work and Pensions

identity

Clarification of NINO Prosecution Cases

1. Further to our telekit meeting on 14 June, I agreed to copy you into my notes on the distinctions between which sort of cases should be taken forward by DWP staff for prosecution, and which should fall within the remit of the Home Office Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND).

2. This is a complex area, and we agreed that updated guidance highlighting the necessary distinctions should be made available to operational staff at the earliest opportunity (SNAP Guide re-write is due in October with work commencing in July). in the meantime, this note could be used as an interim measure to alert Professional Standards Unit (Richard) and lawyers (Amanda) as to the correct course of action for each category of offence.

3. The distinctions staff need to concentrate upon in considering which course of action is appropriate centre upon:

• Whether the applicant is submitting an application based upon a made-up I false identity immigration

or:

• Whether the applicant has submitted falsified NOT DWP.

immigration immediate

documentation in an attempt to legitimise his need for a NINO (eg removal / amendment of right to work restrictions imposed as a condition of stay) - without necessarily applying under a false identity:

• The specific persona! circumstances of the application (see paragraph 4 below).

4. Annexes 1-4 highlight the current correct procedures according to the personal circumstances (eg, in employment; actively seeking work etc) at the time of application to NINO. They are as follows:

• Annex 1: Applicant in employment & has falsified a genuine Immigration document. Where DWP is satisfied as to the individual’s identity, a NINO would be issued in this situation even if we have suspicions around his immigration status. Any prosecution action in respect of the falsified immigration documentation would be the responsibility of IND — NOT DWP.

• Annex 2: Applicant in employment, actively seeking work or claiming benefit & has provided suspect documentation in support of establishing his identity (this may include immigration documentation). A NINO would NOT be issued in this situation (as we have concerns as to the individual’s identity). Any prosecution action relating to this offence would be the responsibility of DWP.

• Annex 3: Applicant is actively seeking work & has falsified a genuine Immigration document. NINO would NOT be issued in this instance (on the basis that there is no immediate need for a NINO), and via the DCI10K procedure would be passed to IND for further action.

• Annex 4: Applicant claiming benefit and falsifies a genuine Immigration document eg (!eave to remain; right to claim benefits etc). Liaison between NINO Allocation operational staff and Benefit Adjudication staff would ensure that benefit not paid and no NINO allocated. Details would be passed to IND for them to take appropriate prosecution action.

5. A number of other salient points were raised at the meeting in respect of NINO Allocation policy, and it’s worth re-emphasising these:

· The NINO does not in itself constitute a right to work in the UK (despite perceptions to the contrary)

• There are circumstances where a NINO can be allocated to an individual without there being a right to work (eg the foreign partner of a UK national claiming benefits or tax credits would still need a NINO for that purpose, even if his / her immigration status denied them the right to work). Therefore, if there were any changes proposed to NINO Policy, we would need to take account of such situations.

• The onus of establishing an individual’s right to work rests with employers. This aspect was strengthened by changes to Section 8 of the 1996 Immigration & Asylum Act which reduced the role of the NINO in this respect.

• HMRC has a duty to collect Tax and National Insurance Contributions from all employees irrespective of their immigration or right to work status. DWP is obliged to allocate a NINO even under those circumstances if the individual is in employment. Regulation 9, Social Security (Crediting and Treatment of Contributions and National Insurance Numbers) Regulations 2001 stipulates that employed earners should obtain a NINO. It makes no allowance for those who may be employed illegally. However, under such scenarios, DWP has established processes in place to advise IND so that they can take any appropriate action as necessary.

6. I hope this is useful. Should you have any further queries regarding the content of this note, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Annex 1

NINO Prosecution Cases

Applicant Already in Employment

Scenario 1: where applicant has falsified a genuine Immigration Document:

• Applicant requests NINO

• DWP satisfied with applicant’s Identity? Yes.

• Applicant has falsified a genuine Immigration document (eg amending right to work / leave to remain etc)

• NINO allocated to allow HMRC to collect NI contributions

• Suspect information passed to CCU DET

· Document confirmed to have been falsified? Yes

• Case passed to NIFU for consideration.

• NIFU confirm document has been falsified and arrange for DCI to be flagged so that we pick up on any future claims to benefit (to which applicant may not be entitled) — addressing threat to benefit system.

• NIFU pass details to IND via legal gateway for their consideration and action of the Immigration-related offence.

• Therefore, IND should be in charge of this scenario as the offence relates to Immigration issues as opposed to NINO allocation / proof of identity.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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