Some of you may recall the shambolic incident regarding the NRC’s (National Removal Command) broken fax machine late last year. After fifteen failed attempts at faxing urgent representations to the NRC and being told that “their machine is working” and there was no other means of contact, we have vigorously pursued a thorough complaint.
Our initial complaint was submitted on the 8th October and can be read here. Their response on the 17th November was unsatisfactory and can be read here. We then renewed our complaint on the 27th November. The full text is below.
On 19th January 2016 the Home Office replied. After looking into our complaints, they have agreed to improve the NRC’s technical communications. They informed us that faxes sent to the NRC will be converted into electronic format rather than printing hard copies. In addition, the Home Office has agreed to make available an email address for the NRC. Representations can now also be made to: NRCCorrespondence@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
It is an honour to welcome the NRC into the 21st century.
While the Home Office response may seem like small steps, the HCP considers this a real success. These changes should reduce the propensity for technical difficulties and make it easier for the Home Office to share documents across all departments. Our complaint has brought about structural change and removed a serious barrier to justice. Since the publication of our first blog on the subject, migrants, as well as their representatives, friends and family members have contacted the HCP to share their frustration when corresponding with the NRC. We hope that they can now make representations to the NRC without hindrance.
Dear Home Office Complaints,
I remain dissatisfied with the response provided to me in relation to my complaint dated 8th October 2015 and responded to on 17th November 2015. (see below).
The complaint relates to the fax machine number provided by the NRC which is defunct. I requested that additional fax numbers be provided in addition to permission to use the email address NRCcorrespondence@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. The response to the complaints suggests that the communications system will be changed ‘soon’ to make communication easier.
However, a date has not been provided for when this will the case. Since making the complaint matters have in fact become worse. Just today, I have attempted to submit urgent representations in relation to another client by way of fax. Yet again, as usual, the fax transmission has failed leaving no method of communicating representations to the NRC. I have already wasted an hour trying to get this fax to send. Further, the email address NRCcorrespondence@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk which was provided to me as the ’emergency’ email now no longer works. When I tried sending the same representations I received an automated response stating Please note: This inbox is NO LONGER IN USE.
This is an entirely unacceptable situation. I often need to make urgent representations to the National Removal Command on matters that involve potential serious violations of the prohibition of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and the right to life. The National Removal Command make it next to impossible to contact them or to serve documents.
This is a pathetic situation and brings the administration of justice in to serious disrepute. I therefore demand that the remedy sought in my initial complaint is immediately provided to prevent further miscarriages of justice such as the incident that prompoted this complaint in the first place. I demand that a date be provided for when the issues with communication to the NRC be rectified.