Report Highlights Astonishing Cost to Taxpayer After Border Security Tech Failure

UK Home Office criticised for its “grossly incompetent” handling of digital programmes aimed to help border security – which has cost the taxpayer astonishing sums of money.

A recent study, conducted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), found that a “lack of effective leadership, management and oversight” had led to £173m of taxpayers’ money being wasted.

The Home Office had anticipated more than 140 million passengers would pass through its new Digital Service at the Border (DSAB) programme, but have admitted they still have no proof that the system can cope with those numbers.

The ‘Border Crossing’ programme, also introduced by the Home Office, is currently being used by 300 border staff – despite anticipating 7,000 users by June 2021.

Commenting, SNP Home Affairs spokesperson Stuart McDonald MP (pictured) said:

“The gross incompetence of the Home Office with regards to immigration and border technology continues to appal. Its record on delivering technology programmes has been shameful, and this latest attempt is no different.

“It is extremely worrying that the Home Office has repeatedly failed to deliver technology that is integral to border security.

“We all pay a price in terms of financial cost, and security.

“Delays to the Emergency Services Network, which PAC are also currently investigating, has cost the taxpayer £650m a year – despite currently running six years behind schedule.
“This cannot continue.

“The SNP is now demanding answers and, more importantly, action from the Home Office.

“The Home Secretary must review the concerns raised as a matter of urgency, and explain how this will be put right.”