Apparently there are currently long waits for initial asylum interviews and decisions from the London asylum teams of UKBA. Case owner diaries are said to be full to the end of the year and it sounds as if the three month target for initial decisions is being missed.
High staff turnover may well be to blame. I’ve heard this from at least two sources now, one Home Office and one not. It sounds like quite a few case owners are moving onwards and upwards in the civil service and elsewhere, which is great news for them but leaves their remaining colleagues in a bit of a pickle. Excessive workload may also help explain why case owners are never seen in court, even in cases involving children where continuity and familiarity might be thought to be important. Part of the idea of case owners, when they were introduced, was that they would see cases from start to finish and that simply doesn’t happen.