The aim of the Government's reform plan is to make the Home Office more efficient. It is hoped that the following changes will result in savings of as much as £115m per year by 2010:
- The size of the Home Office's headquarters will be reduced by moving staff from the centre out into communities.
- There will be extensive changes and increased accountability at all levels.
Home Secretary John Reid said the plan would ensure that the department is better able to deliver quality services to the public. 'This will not be an easy task,' he warned. 'This is the start of a long-term programme of reform that will require consistency, commitment and endurance.'
Still, he said, he was resolute on the need for wide-ranging reform. 'I am determined to create a Home Office in which the public can have confidence.'
It is also hoped that the reform plan will mean significant improvements at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), which many people feel has failed to deal with the country's complex immigration issues. In an effort to reform the IND it will become a shadow agency by 2007 before becoming a full agency in 2008. There will also be reforms of the UK Visas department at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.