Under the new contracts, suppliers must have proactive maintenance plans in place to ensure that they regularly inspect properties and report the results of these inspections to the Ministry of the Interior. When problems are identified, suppliers are expected to resolve them within the set deadlines. The Interior Ministry has officially awarded contracts to the following providers: Mears, which specialises in social and housing services, is the only newcomer to the asylum contract since 2012, the sources told Reuters. The £10 billion contracts, worth £1.9 billion for Serco and £1 billion for Mears, were awarded by the UK Home Office`s Visa and Immigration Authority under the Asylum Accommodation and Support Services (AASC) contract. It is still too early in the life of these contracts for us to make a final assessment of the cost-benefit ratio of the Department`s current asylum accommodation and support service. However, we can assess the measures taken so far, as well as the foundations of the future of the service. The ministry aimed to provide an improved service that is sustainable at a reasonable price, meets the needs of the population and can be flexibly designed to meet changing demand. The UK is proud to have provided protection to those in need, and these new treaties will ensure that asylum seekers are treated with dignity and respect in safe, protected and adequate housing. We have consulted extensively with local authorities and NGOs to ensure that contracts not only protect vulnerable asylum seekers, but also offer good value for taxpayers.

Serco and Mears have received contracts totalling £2.9 billion from the UK government to provide accommodation and support to asylum seekers and to increase shares in the two outsourcing companies. Given these objectives, the department pays more to suppliers after finding that COMPASS was undervalued and negotiating service improvements. Accommodation providers are now beginning to meet performance standards, but AIRE has not been able to meet the needs of refugee claimants in the first few months and, despite some improvements, has not yet provided an acceptable service in a consistent manner. In addition, the Department faces challenges in adapting services to changing demand and in implementing its plan to redistribute people across the country. To date, the Department has demonstrated that it has learned from the COMPASS contract and laid the foundation for better service. The Department now faces the challenges we have faced in order to obtain good value for money during the life of these contracts. “In 2020 and beyond, we expect AASC contracts to be materially positive for profitability and cash flow,” Serco said in a statement. The contracts also require accommodation establishments to establish and maintain close working relationships with local authorities and include the need to consult and contact them regarding the location of properties in the area. The AIRE service will provide users of the service with advice and guidance on the asylum procedure, their rights and the signage of various services.

Mears has received contracts for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber. The new treaties offer a number of improvements, with a particular focus on supporting people through the asylum system. They will ensure that vulnerable asylum seekers have access to the support they need and set clear requirements for standards and accommodation conditions. The British government is awarding contracts worth a total of £4 billion to house asylum seekers, the sources said, but the collapse of Carillion last year dampened appetite for riskier projects. The new contracts will start in September 2019 and the Ministry of the Interior will continue to work closely with new suppliers, COMPASS suppliers and local authorities to ensure a smooth transition. The Home Office provides shelter and support to asylum seekers and their families as their cases are processed, in line with the UK government`s international commitment to support asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute. The number of asylum seekers accommodated has more than doubled since 2012 to around 48,000 in March 2020, but has been relatively stable since the beginning of 2019. .