This summer the passport agency struggled to cope with issuing and renewing passports when its backlog of unprocessed applications spiralled past 550,000 in June, the period of peak demand. MPs said the backlog left some British citizens unable to go on holiday, and sick children unable to return to the UK. The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee has said that British travellers who ended up out of pocket as a result of a backlog at HM Passport Office (HMPO) this summer, including those who were forced to pay premium rates for a fast-track service, should be paid compensation.
Following the back log, whilst this is little comfort for those who experienced delays, the Home Secretary commissioned two reviews to ensure HMPO is run as efficiently and accountably as possible so that there could be no repeat problems. As a result of these reviews, HMPO ceased to be an Executive Agency from 1 October 2014. The HMPO will be brought back into the Home Office so that it will be directly accountable to Ministers. We shall wait to see if the situation improves.
If you would like further information on this topic or any other Employment or Immigration issue please contact the Edwin Coe Employment and Immigration Team.
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