Technology is also set to be used to prioritise workloads in other areas of departmental operations
The Home Office has signed a multimillion-pound deal to expand the department’s use of a software automation tool developed to prioritise immigration enforcement cases and provide officers with “recommended interventions”.
The Identify and Prioritise Immigration Cases (IPIC) tool began to be used by some Home Office immigration enforcement units about three years ago.
A recent procurement notice from the department said: “IPIC gives immigration enforcement the ability to coordinate services needed to deliver a user-centric business. We do this by strategically prioritising and streaming recommended interventions to the right internal users at the right time within a framework of embedded safeguards.”
There are currently “several enforcement teams” using IPIC and, over the course of a two-year £8.5m contract with supplier BJSS, the Home Office plans to continue to roll out the platform to more officers.
Alongside IPIC, another automation tool – called simply Prioritise Cases (PC) – has also been created and will be used to support other Home Office operations beyond immigration, the contract notice indicates.
“The programme is also expanding into other areas of the Home Office via the newer PC application,” it added. “Each new service or team has bespoke requirements for the user interface, business rules and functionality of IPIC and PC.”
PublicTechnology contacted the Home Office, requesting information on how IPIC and PC work and the kind of interventions the technology is designed to provide, as well as details of where prioritisation systems might be further deployed across the department’s operations. The department did not respond.
The incoming £8.5m contract to support the expansion of IPIC and PC, which came into effect at the start of this month, follows directly on from a six-month “interim” support agreement – which was also awarded to BJSS, and ran for six months from 1 October until 31 March.
The rollout of IPIC forms part of the Home Office’s broader Future Borders and Immigration System project – a seven-year £3bn-plus programme of work to replace ageing IT systems and implement new digital border infrastructure to support the UK’s exit from the European Union. The project, which also includes the ongoing implenmentation of the new Atlas immigration caseworking tool, is due to conclude by March 2025.