The Home Office is silently discarding the use of a Swedish firm that it was utilizing to confirm the genuineness of the requests made by those looking for asylum. This discovery was made recently when it was found out that many people were deported based on wrong and faulty advice.
The company known as Sprakab was this week accused that one of its senior language employees was previously convicted of drug smuggling. Of course, he had told lies regarding his papers, and had all this while been an employee of the Home Office whose responsibilities involved interviewing people on telephone to confirm their claims for British asylum. He had been in this role since the year 2000.
The company’s recommendations are usually utilised to decide whether to turn down applications for asylum. Its methods have always been called badly flawed by experts in languages, but the company Sprakab insisted that the activities it performed were done to the highest standards.
It has just been discovered that since August 2014, Sprakab was stopped by the Home Office from being its only giver of analysis activities in languages. They have now been replaced by another Swedish company know by name as Verified AB. The Home Office still makes use of Sprakab’s services but this time only in a capacity that is secondary in nature.
Although this change was not publicly announced, it was made over two months after the Supreme Court charged that the staff of Sprakab had been giving wrong and faulty opinions and recommendations to an asylum tribunal in Britain on if an asylum-seeking Somalian sounded honest, instead of just studying the way they spoke.
In May, while giving their judgment the five judges stated that immigration officials of the UK were depending too much on the reports from Sprakab and that some recommendations made by their staff were going further than the appropriate duty of a witness. The Home Office at that time had claimed that the judges had not discovered any need for them to not depend on Sprakab.
A document which focused on the briefing at the Home Office on August 19 stated that up till August of 2014, the sole supplier had been Sprakab. Some economic changes earlier in 2014 had brought in another supplier, Verified AB. After August 2014, the Home Office will depend on the activities of the two firms. The senior supplier was to remain Verified AB, with Sprakab giving analysis activities in the capacity of a secondary supplier.
The Independent newspaper today showed the way one of the most talented language specialists of Sprakab, an analyst in the many dialects of Somali who had brought forth over 5,000 studies for the company, has been lying about a fake degree he had from a university in Stockholm.
This week a broadcast which was Swedish revealed that the individual whose name is still unknown has been a convict accused of drug smuggling a drug called khat. Many experts in languages also wondered about his work output, and there are now concerns that if his reports were faulty, many asylum seekers from Somali would have been wrongfully denied from entering the UK.
The Refugee Councils’ head of advocacy Lisa Doyle stated that a revision in supplier did not remove the truth that language analysis is not a very good way of assessing someone’s citizenship and also if they required international care and protection.
In her view, asylum requests are very difficult to handle and understand. It was shocking to imagine that the choice of if someone’s life was in trouble or not was dependent on the report of an unknown analyst on a telephone.
Verified AB’s CEO Roderick Martin stated that in his opinion the judgement by the Supreme Court cold most likely have made Government to decide to remove Sprakab, but he refused to make any further comments. For him, if there was already a decision by the Supreme Court then it was a very solid issue that must be considered.
Labour has stated that it intends to bring up the Sprakab issue with Theresa May the Home Secretary. The shadow minister of immigration David Hason MP has also stated that receiving applications on the right to asylum is necessary to ensuring that the public continues to trust and believe in the country’s system of immigration. Therefore the present issues regarding Sprakab were of concern to everyone. In his view, the Home Secretary would have to be sure about what the issues with Sprakab had been, when they were discovered, what remedies had been instituted and why Ministers had not informed the Commons.
It is well known that the contract on language analysis was tendered for in the same procedure as other contracts in Government, and Verified AB had been selected because it gave a better economic and commercial value over Sprakab.
In an official remark, a spokesman for the Home Office has stated that the language analysis procedures had been continuously supported in many judgments by courts and is just a single process utilized in arriving at final decisions regarding asylum.
He stated further that all studies and recommendations were made with plenty of checks and controls and that it involved several specialists in the firm. Analysis of languages is also only one part of proof that was used to decide the applicant’s citizenship. Any suspicions about citizenship were analysed further in a very rigorous and demanding interview.
When contacted to make a comment, Sprakab refused to respond.