Emphasis On Queue Times Causing Border Staff To Neglect Other Duties

A recent report pointed that the pressure at the UK borders was too high so staff there were made to cut down on searches in order to reduce queues and perform full passport checks.
The pressure had to be lowered during the Olympics last year, when the home secretary Theresa May used to receive current information about the queues every day.

These measures led to cutting queue times and now the Border Force tries to keep this achievement.
Some say these measures are not right because many duties need to be neglected so that the queue time drops. Some of the things missed are searching vehicles for illegal immigrants and checking travelers for contraband.
According to NAO these changes could mean that queues are more important than some aspects of performance which may later turn out to be dangerous.
The home secretary has to be informed about any failure to carry out a full passport check.

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In the words of Labour, the lack of sources was to be blamed for the failings.
Between April 2010 and March 2012, Border Force staff fell from 8,023 to 7,527 but funding will be increased for the next year so the number of staff is planned to reach 8,477.
Margaret Hodge from the public accounts committee commended the Border Force for reducing queuing times at the Olympics, but added: “…it is deeply worrying that this came at the expense of its other responsibilities, particularly customs. The Border Force must be able to check both goods and passengers at the same time – border security cannot be an either/or choice.”
Immigration minister Mark Harper blamed the previous government for many of the current problems.



Porn Filter Praised By Cameron Run By Huawei

According to BBC the Chinese firm Huawei controls the porn filtering system which David Cameron praised this week.

When on Monday he said he planned to block pornography in the UK, he commented TalkTalk’s filtering system Homesafe.

However, it turned out that employees who live or stay in the UK are able to add and remove domains from the blacklist sites which are blocked if TalkTalk customers sign up for the voluntary scheme.

People said they were concerned because the mentioned company is supposed to be connected to the Chinese government so there was great chance that it would not function in the desired way in the UK and the US. Buy corporate legal documents for the UK.

Not long ago the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) released a report which mentioned that Huawei’s intentions could be more political than commercial.

Despite the fact that Talk Talk seems to be glad about its relations with Huawei, experts claim that it would be better if private companies were not responsible for maintaining blacklists.

Dr Martyn Thomas, chair to the IT policy panel at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “It needs to be run by an organisation accountable to a minister so it can be challenged in Parliament.”

“There’s certainly a concern about the process of how a web address gets added to a blacklist – who knows about it, and who has an opportunity to appeal against it.”

In the words of David Cameron, ISPs would have to decide on their own which is the best solution in managing the filters, but said they would be controlled so that everything functioned as planned.

What he mentioned on Monday was that he intended to crack down on “poisonous” pornographic websites.



Expert Witnesses No Longer on Both Sides

It was recently announced by the former head of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) that the expert witnesses, who appear for both sides regarding a clinical negligence, will become the norm. Steve Walker retired in August as chief executive of the NHSLA after 16 years of service. He stated that after the Jackson reforms come into place next April, solicitors will be forced to find new ways in order to lower costs. Unlike EU practices, parties in the UK are allowed to bring their own experts so that they can give evidence on litigation proceeding issues that are complicated. During the Expert Witness Institute annual conference, Walker gave a speech regarding new upcoming joint instructions. He stated that even though this might be regarded as a bold step, it is worth enforcing if it leads to the truth. Currently, there are few best experts and they cannot spread themselves on too many cases. Fact is that at the moment, there is a race on getting the most critical experts on each and every case. The practice at the moment is not efficient in any way and actions will be taken for this to change.

Members of the institute should be careful not to gain a reputation for giving favorable evidence to one side. Former chief executive of NHSLA stated that should experts decide to give favorable evidence, the judge will know and this will inevitably lead to their lost. Walker urged all experts to be honest and impartial. However, he also shared that he has experienced ‘many examples of shortcomings’. This was particularly the case in the witness profession was a full-time career for the expert.

Steve Walker also admitted that more often than not corporate defendants fail to scrutinize the reports of the experts in much detail and claims are usually seen as a ‘process’. According to him, more and more cases will be dealt with through an automatic portal arrangement. Such type of cases will also include clinical negligence claims.

High Court judge Mr Justice Ramsey urged solicitors to work on and improve their understanding of how issues such as clinical negligence work in the era of ‘proportionate and predetermined costs’. He stated that ‘it is not longer appropriate to say to a claimant there is an open chequebook on expert evidence’. According to Mr Ramsey, solicitors seek expert advice when they have no idea on how to deal with a given issue. He state, however, that instead of hiring experts to investigate, the solicitors should themselves understand and then explain to clients the costs regarding a certain position. It will be no longer acceptable to be negligent in such situations or give favorable evidence to one side or another. It was reported that experts who appear on both sides regarding a clinical negligence will become the norm. It will be solicitors’ responsibility to stay informed and to inform experts as well as too look for ways in order to lower costs.

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