Sponsor Sanctions and Data Verification

Peter Kellard made this Freedom of Information request to UK Border Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear UK Border Agency,

This request relates to electronically held information for Tier 2 ICT workers managed through your Sponsor Management System (SMS) and Immigration Case work system (ICW).

My understanding of these systems is that the SMS is a front end application to the ICW system. It enables sponsors to enter COS details, manage them and assign these COS to migrant workers. The ICW system is used by UKBA case workers to manage the VISA approval process including accessing data entered through the SMS. Once a COS has been assigned to a potential worker the individual worker will apply for a visa quoting the COS ID on their application.

A worker may apply for a visa before they have been issued with an NI number from HMRC.

Is it a requirement that the sponsor / applicant must provide this information to be recorded in the ICW once the NI Number has been issued to them by HMRC?

Where an NI number is provided by the applicant and / or sponsor are they checked against each other for consistency?

Are NI numbers validated with HMRC?

Is there any sanction against the visa applicant / sponsor for not providing their NI number?

Is the Visa start date recorded in the ICW?
Is the Visa End date recorded in the ICW?
Is the Visa duration recorded in the ICW?

Where salary amounts are provided by the applicant and or sponsor are they checked against each other for consistency?

Where allowance and guaranteed bonus amounts are provided by the applicant and or sponsor are they checked against each other for consistency?

Where there are inconsistencies between applicant data and the same data items entered by the sponsor on the COS are these discrepancies recorded?

Is there a mechanism whereby a sponsors status will be downgraded where it is found there are a high level of discrepancies between COS data and that provided by the visa applicants they sponsor?

Do you hold figures on the number of sponsors who had their sponsor status downgraded between 01/01/11 and 31/12/2011?

Is it possible to group these by the reason for downgrading?

Yours faithfully,

Peter Kellard

Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ), UK Border Agency

Dear Peter Kellard

Re: Sponsor Sanctions and Data Verification (112088)

Thank you for your recent e mail concerning the above matter. We are currently dealing with your enquiry and will respond shortly.

Kind Regards

UKBA
FOI Team

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NEYH, Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Kellard

 

Thank you for your enquiry of 30 March.

 

This falls to be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
we will endeavour to respond within 20 working days.

 

Kind Regards

 

Daniela Walker

UK Border Agency

Vulcan House Steel

PO Box 3468

Sheffield

S3 8WA

 

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NEYH, Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Kellard

 

Thank you for your enquiry of 30 March. Your request falls to be dealt
with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

I have been in the process of establishing the information we hold. I am
unclear about the exact scope of the information in which you are
interested. Section 1(3) of the Freedom of Information Act provides that a
public authority need not comply with a request for information unless any
further information reasonably required to identify and locate the
information is supplied.

 

You requested information pertaining to the Immigration Information System
(ICW). I am unable to provide you with this information because ICW is
currently in development. However, I have attached our website link to
provide you with more information on Tier 4 sponsor guidance. Can you
please clarify whether you wish to receive further information?

 

[1]http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/siteco...

 

When you provide this information we will aim to send you a full response
to your request within twenty working days of its receipt. I look forward
to hearing from you shortly. However, please note that if I do not receive
appropriate clarification of your request within three months from the
date of this letter, I will consider this request to be closed.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Daniela Walker

UK Border Agency

Vulcan House Steel

PO Box 3468

Sheffield

S3 8WA

 

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Dear Ms Walker,

In your response you state that the ICW is currently in development and therefore you are unable to answer my question. That does make me wonder what your colleague Diana Pottinger meant in point 23 below when she conducted an internal review into an earlier FOI request

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t2...

“……
23. When a sponsor assigns a CoS to a migrant they are required to provide information about the migrants salary package. They must provide a salary figure and alongside this the salary period (eg, day,week,month,year etc) and a separate figure for allowances. We are aware that some sponsors have input salary details inaccurately (this could be something as simple as putting a decimal point in the wrong place or excluding a decimal point all together) which has resulted in some salary details becoming highly inflated in relation to the migrants actual employment.

While these inaccuracies remain live on the system, any such errors are picked up at the migrant LTR/Visa stage of the application. “

When Diana Pottinger refers to picking up errors at the LTR/Visa stage is she referring to some sort of case information system used to record such details which will at some point be replaced by one of the 14 phases that make up the ICW (currently in development)?

From your reply it appears that my understanding of the current applicant, SMS, ICW systems and processes for Tier 2 ICT workers which I outlined in my initial request is incorrect in some aspects. I would appreciate a little clarification from you as to where my understanding is incorrect so I will then be able to refine my request to ensure it is relevant to your current live systems and the data they hold.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Kellard

NEYH, Freedom of Information,

Dear Team

This one is follow up for us to handle.

Many thanks

Dani

Daniela Walker
UK Border Agency
Vulcan House Steel
PO Box 3468
Sheffield
S3 8WA

Tel: 0114 2072097

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NEYH, Freedom of Information,

NEYH, Freedom of Information would like to recall the message, "Freedom of Information Request - Ref. 22265/1553".

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NEYH, Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Kellard

Thank you for you enquiry of 3 May relating to FOI ref. 22265/1553.

I am sorry for the delay in my response. We have been in the process of establishing the information held and will respond to your questions in due course.

Kind regards

Daniela Walker
UK Border Agency
Vulcan House Steel
PO Box 3468
Sheffield
S3 8WA

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NEYH, Freedom of Information,

Dear Mr Kellard

 

Following your enquiry of 3 May, I have been in the process to establish
the information we hold in response to question.

 

Please see the information below.

 

The UK Border Agency is currently in the process of transforming the way
it does its casework. The Immigration Casework Programme (ICW) will
deliver the modernised IT which will support this transformation. The
processes and IT are currently in development.

 

As outlined previously, I am unable to provide you with further
information in regards to ICW because the programme is currently under
development.

 

Your request for information has been handled routinely outside of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Daniela Walker

UK Border Agency

Vulcan House Steel

PO Box 3468

Sheffield

S3 8WA

 

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Dear Ms Walker,

Thank you for your reply.

When Diana Pottinger conducted an internal review into an earlier FOI request

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t2...

she said that

“……
23. When a sponsor assigns a CoS to a migrant they are required to provide information about the migrants salary package. They must provide a salary figure and alongside this the salary period (eg,day,week,month,year etc) and a separate figure for allowances. We are aware that some sponsors have input salary details inaccurately (this could be something as simple as putting a decimal point in the wrong place or excluding a decimal point all together) which has resulted in some salary details becoming highly inflated in relation to the migrants actual employment.

While these inaccuracies remain live on the system, any such errors are picked up at the migrant LTR/Visa stage of the application. “

When Diana Pottinger refers to picking up errors at the LTR/Visa stage is this information recorded electronically or onto a paper based system?

If this information is captured electronically what is the name of the system it is recorded on?

Is this system part of the Immigration Case Work Programme?

When did this system first system go live?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Kellard

NEYH, Freedom of Information,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Kellard

 

Please see the attached response following your request for information.

 

Kind regards

 

Daniela Walker

UK Border Agency|Customer Service Improvement Directorate|

Level 5 Vulcan House Steel|PO BOX 3468|Sheffield|S3 8WA

Fax: 0114 2882|

email: [email address]

 

 

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Dear Ms Walker,

Thankyou for answering my request.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Kellard

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