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Serco signs new contract for UK asylum support services

Published: 21 Mar 2012

Serco Group plc (Serco), the international service company, announces that it has signed a contract with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to deliver the COMPASS project, providing accommodation, associated services and transport for asylum applicants in two regions of the UK. The five-year contract has an estimated total value of approximately £175m. The majority of service users will have transferred to Serco by October 2012, with the contract becoming fully operational by the end of the year.

COMPASS, or 'Commercial and Operational Managers Procuring of Asylum Support Services', will replace more than 20 UKBA contracts for accommodation and transport of asylum applicants and their families, improving service standards whilst delivering considerable savings to the taxpayer. Serco is prime contractor for the North West and Scotland & Ireland, two of the six UKBA regions. Responsibility includes initial short-term accommodation for asylum applicants; dispersed accommodation after their application is processed; transportation to and between accommodation; and the related process support to these operations. To deliver the programme, Serco is working with a network of well-established regional providers including a number of small and medium sized enterprises and voluntary sector suppliers.

As prime contractor, Serco will use its supply chain management expertise to support its network of providers, helping organisations to develop and supply the best possible service. This includes providing a robust contract management and quality assurance regime, financial management, technology infrastructure and case management, implementation and logistics expertise and capacity-building support. It is expected that Serco's network will support 7-8,000 service users each year over the course of the contract.

Serco has consulted extensively with interested parties from the public, private and voluntary sectors across the regions it will operate. This insight and feedback helped to shape our successful solution, and Serco remains committed to engaging with both service users, communities groups and organisations going forward.

Christopher Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco Group, said: "We are delighted to have been chosen by the UK Border Agency for this important service. Our approach will enable us to support the families and individuals in our care with both respect and professionalism, whilst delivering good value for the taxpayer. This contract builds on a strong customer relationship with the UK Border Agency, and also on other related services where our innovative partnering approach brings together local suppliers in the private, voluntary and community sectors. We look forward with this contract to extending our proven record for delivering high quality and efficient services in the UK and internationally."