Home Office seeks £140k head for border transformation plans

Written by Beckie Smith and Sam Trendall on 11 November 2021 in News

Director general post comes with remit to oversee 600 staff and £2bn budget

Home Office headquarters in London's Marsham Street  Credit: Steve Cadman/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Home Office is offering up to £140,000 a year for the latest “significant leadership and transformation role” to open up at the department.

The director general for migration and borders will head up one of three departmental “missions” under a revamped structure known as the One Home Office transformation programme.

The successful candidate will be a “leading member of the Home Office and its governing boards”, overseeing 600 staff and a £2bn budget, according to the job advert.

They will be responsible for implementing the government’s New Plan for Immigration programme, published in March, as it relates to legal migration, border control and illegal migration. They will be expected to appear before parliamentary select committees to explain this work.

The DG will act as a senior adviser to the home secretary and, on occasion, the prime minister on migration policy and delivery through primary and secondary legislation, immigration rules and strategy.

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They will also represent the Home Office in discussions with other government departments on topics such as trade, border security and work.

And they will work with counterparts in other countries on mobility, border and migration partnerships, including with Ireland on the Common Travel Area. The job will therefore require some international travel.

Applicants must be ready to work in an “ambiguous and complex” environment, responding to “quickly evolving events” as well as shaping strategy, the job ad says.

They must be a “strong, engaging and collaborative leader” who can inspire staff to deliver programmes confidently as well as managing large budgets.

They must also have highly developed strategic and policy skills, as well as the negotiating skills to work with international partners and to enable them to deliver programmes internally.

The job is the latest of several to be advertised since the One Home Office programme began earlier this year. It comes after the department signed a contract worth up to £300,000 in June commissioning a headhunting firm to hire six directors, as well as offering up to £149,000 for a new DG to lead its combined Border Force and immigration enforcement commands.

Applications for the role, which comes with a salary of between £120,000 and £140,000, close on 21 November.

New government legislation aims to revamp the UK’s post-Brexit borders, including a major project to be led by the Home Office to implement an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) system. The digital documents will eventually be required by all visitors to the UK – other than Irish citizens – that do not possess a visa or immigration status.

Air and sea passenger carriers will need to ensure travellers possess the correct authorisation – or face potential penalties for not doing so.

The system will require the collection and processing of biometric data from about 30 million people a year, with the Home Office planning to implement IT platforms that would enable people to upload and automatically verify their own images and fingerprint data.


About the author

Beckie Smith is deputy editor for PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @beckie__smith.


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