The CRB will still be merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), in Darlington, to create the new Disclosure and Barring Service (DSB) next year.
However it has been confirmed that the DSB will operate from both the existing sites, rather than from just one – as the Home Office had suggested in February. The Home Office also expects all 700 CRB staff to keep their jobs – bar some cost-cutting changes at “executive management level”.
The rethink appears to flow from a realisation that there is little duplication in the work done by the CRB and the ISA.
The Home Office has issued a tender for a company to run the outsourced ‘disclosure and barring services’. This will replace the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The new service will merge their functions together as part of the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Bill.
The tender notice in the Official Journal of the European Union says the contract will last for eight years and is valued at between £250m and £350m. As yet there is no firm date for the new service to come into effect. A Home Office briefing on the protection and freedoms bill says that timescales will be finalised when the bill receives royal assent, which is now expected to be in mid-2012.
Meanwhile The Criminal Records Bureau has requested that the Capita Group Plc continues providing its Disclosure Service under a PPP agreement for a further 12 months from the end of March 2012 until March 2013. Continue reading 'Tender for Disclosure and Barring Services issued'»
CRB has announced an £8 increase for Enhanced Disclosures to £44.00, effective from 6th April 2011 . The Standard CRB Check (£26.00) and ISA Adult First check (£6.00) remain at existing prices and CRB checks will remain free of charge for volunteers .
The justification for the increase is a direct link to the Government’s decision to scale back the Vetting and Barring Scheme andwill fund the retained elements of the Scheme without the income which would have been raised through the £64 fee for registration. This will cover the ISA’s budgeted costs of £17.1m per year – with the remaining money covering the other retained elements of the Scheme and contribute towards the development of the current criminal records regime, including portability.
The Daily Mail reported on a press release by the Manifesto Club about the scale of volunteer vetting. “Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that almost a million checks were made last year, a six-fold increase since the CRB was launched in 2002.”
The Club, which campaigns against over-regulation, claims that many local authorities – even Tory ones – are still demanding ‘blanket’ vetting of volunteers. Josie Appleton, director of the Manifesto Club, said: ‘The Government has made some fine statements criticising over-use of the CRB checks but these haven’t affected anything on the ground. ‘CRB checking is leading to the collapse of valuable community services and the loss of the best and most generous volunteers in our communities.’
A Home Office spokesman said the CRB was working to restore ‘proportionality’ to its service and added: ‘We are also clear that there are occasions that these checks are vital to protect public safety.’
Daily Mail Article
A parliamentary question by Frank Field was answered by Lynne Featherstone and indicated that there were 4,294,977 certificates issued to Registered Bodies in 2009-10. 933,271 applications were for voluntary positions which the CRB issues free of charge. Full text below Continue reading 'PQ about CRB income'»
The chief executive of the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), Simon Bass, has highlighted that there are major loopholes in the Protection of Freedoms Bill that will be exploited by those determined to abuse children and vulnerable adults. He said that the Government’s plans to scale back the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) “will make it easier, not harder, for unscrupulous sexual predators to abuse in churches.”
The VBS Remodelling Review document recognises that removing barring arrangements for some activities could give rise to an increase in safeguarding risks. He was concerned that the review gave Sunday-school helpers as an example of where criminal records checks would not be required . He explained that a convicted abuser who is banned from working in a ‘regulated activity’, such as teaching, may, without any checks, alternatively gain access to children through becoming a Sunday-school helper, with potentially devastating consequences. Mr Bass said
“these changes show that the Government is prepared to tolerate a level of risk in churches that we — with long and painful experience of dealing with abusers in church — find unacceptable. We think it inevitable that potential predators will see children in churches as soft targets and will act accordingly.”
He agreed with other commentators that proposals in the Freedom Bill to allow the sharing of CRB checks between employers was “eminently sensible”.
Local media herald the merger of the Darlington-based Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), in Liverpool as a head to head fight for nearly 1000 jobs. Continue reading 'Job losses at CRB & ISA'»
On BBC News, Mark Williams-Thomas a ex-policeman and specialist in child safeguarding gave the following interview:
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See also our page tracking stakeholder comments
An article in the Telegraph pre-empts the announcement about the results of the criminal records regime review by Sunita Mason and the parallel one into the Vetting & Barring Scheme. Headline: “An anti-paedophile vetting scheme that would have involved nine million adults will be ripped up next week in a major reworking of how background checks are conducted.” Continue reading 'CRB & ISA to merge into new body'»
Councils in Kent and East Sussex have been accused of carrying out unjustified Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for job applicants. Who the Councils are checking: Continue reading 'Unjustified CRB checks challenged'»
Millions of innocent people who have just reported a crime have their details stored on police databases, Continue reading 'Police databases of millions of 999 callers'»