Nadine Dorries – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Nadine Dorries on 2014-06-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department took to ensure that TPContact was prepared for the required increase in capacity at its facilities worldwide to deal with the summer rush of visa applications.

James Brokenshire

Any failure against the contractual critical service levels may result in
deductions against their submitted invoices. In the event of continuous and
unacceptable failures the Department has the ability to terminate the contract.

The performance of Teleperformance as with all of our contracts is subject to
close Home Office scrutiny. The governance processes include regular meetings
at all levels, from local operational teams up to senior official levels, to
allow in-depth reviews of performance against the service standards set out in
the contract, and to provide an escalation route to resolve any issues that may
arise. We also expect suppliers to provide continuous improvement in delivery
of customer services over the course of the contract, which is also monitored
through these processes.

The Department withheld payment of the contractual transitional payment until
transition was complete in each country where Teleperformance operates. This
has now been has now been approved for payment in countries where visa
application centres (VACs) are operational but withheld in locations still to
be transitioned. Ongoing contractual payments will be subject to the service
credit process outlined above.

The data required to judge performance against contractual service standards is
not yet available. We are not aware of any withdrawn applications linked to
delays in processing at the identified visa application centres since they took
over this service. The Home Office is currently collating data on complaints
for the period since Teleperformance commenced operations and it is not
available for publication.

UK Visas & Immigration has worked closely with Teleperformance from the point
at which contracts were awarded to prepare for live operations, including the
summer peak. Annual and monthly application volumes and forecast figures for
2014 were provided to Teleperformance as part of the tender process and local
discussions have taken place to determine the number of appointment slots
available. Opening hours have been extended and appointment availability has
been increased in a number of locations to prepare for the summer period. Where
VACs are open every day, the availability of appointment slots is continually
monitored, with further measures being taken if appointments are consistently
fully booked.