To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to monitor the performance of private contractors providing accommodation and support to asylum seekers.
25 March 2021
We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office has access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance.
The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied. Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them.
This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.
Contract management is operated in line with Covid-19 guidance. Service Delivery Managers speak daily with providers about service delivery and performance. In response to the global pandemic, officials also have formal meetings on a weekly basis to ensure individuals are housed safely, services are delivered in line with their contractual obligations and adherence to guidance from Public Health England (PHE) is followed.
Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on particular areas of concern.