Two reports into the UK Border Agency (UKBA) have found failings in the way intelligence about illegal immigrants is used.
Andrew Green of Migration Watch welcomed the findings, arguing that the agency must do better at recording intelligence-lead outcomes, "otherwise they have no idea whether they're being effective of not."
"Frankly... I was surprised at the extent of bureaucracy that surrounds the teams," he said.
Immigration minister Damian Green responded to the criticisms, telling Today's Evan Davis that the coalition had inherited a "huge problem", yet insisting the agency was "getting better".
"We removed more people in 2010 than ever before," he said.
Mr Green assured listeners that the UKBA would "get to grips" with bureaucracy, but agreed that the main problem was the agency's ability to keep records.
On the issue of cuts, he expected that staff would be reduced by 5,200 over the course of the spending review period, but added that remaining officials would be able to do a better job because of improved technology and an intelligence-lead approach.
Touching on immigration in Europe, he said Britain would give "practical help and advice" to its neighbours in order to avoid a "full scale immigration crisis" and a "complete reversal" of the 1985 Schengen Agreement, which phased out border checks across the continent.
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