PAC MPs claim that Border Force’s IT system is at risk of collapse

border force

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have claimed that the UK Border Force’s IT system is out of date and at risk of collapse. The ‘Warning Index’ system was implemented in the 1990s and is now more than 10 years out of date.

The Home Office has claimed that it will strengthen the Warning Index via a contract with Fujitsu as a short term solution. However, it was unable to say when the system would be replaced.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, said: “There are worrying gaps in the intelligence data available to the Border Force and its IT systems are not up to the job. The Warnings Index, the system used to check all arriving passengers, is out of date and at risk of collapse but it is unclear how and when it will be replaced. Progress depends on development of the e-Borders programme but that is currently rated amber/red by the Major Projects Authority.”

e-Borders will hopefully enable the government to track most non-EU nationals arriving in the UK and security check passengers on watch-lists.

In addition the PAC has also claimed that the Border Force is having problems with its Centaur system which stores data on customs offences. The system has retained too much low-quality data which is overwhelming the system. 649,000 matches of potential drugs and tobacco smuggling had to be deleted without being read.

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