§ Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will publish the Instructions to Immigration Service and Home Office staff on dealing with immigration cases. [HL1402]
§ Lord Williams of Mostyn
We are pleased to announce that a copy of the disclosable version of four of the six volumes of the Immigration Directorates' Instructions (IDIs) is being placed in the Library. The material is subject to periodic review and revision. We shall arrange to provide the Library with any necessary amendments or new instructions.
The IDIs consist of internal guidance to staff about the handling of on-entry and after-entry immigration casework. They are being made available in accordance with the principles of openness in the White Paper on Freedom of Information and in the existing Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. A small amount of material cannot be disclosed, either on the grounds of national security or because disclosure would prejudice the effective operation of immigration controls.
Arrangements are now in hand to make this information available on the Internet. Because of the volume of material and the technical arrangements involved, it is likely to take approximately six weeks before this process is complete. In the meantime, members of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's After-Entry User Panel are being consulted about other suitable ways of facilitating access to this information.
Separate sets of internal instructions on asylum, enforcement, European Economic Area and nationality casework will be made available in due course. We are also examining disclosure of the remaining two volumes 99WA of the IDIs in so far as they relate to immigration casework. Much of the material in those volumes relates to internal administrative matters, such as general guidance on the drafting of letters, which would not normally be relevant to those outside the Home Office.