UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff dealt with a backlog of immigration cases so inefficiently that at one point 100,000 items of post were unopened
Applications were placed into an archive of unresolved cases after "very minimal work", despite the agency assuring MPs that "exhaustive" checks had been carried out
In March 2011, there were 147,000 unfinished cases that were passed to an audit unit
In a sample of 135 files examined as part of the inspection, each case had lain dormant for an average of 87 months - more than seven years - before they were reopened in 2010 for consideration.
The shortest period of inactivity was six months - the longest was an astonishing 17 years and nine months.