Posts tagged: ISA

DBS to operate from CRB and ISA offices

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October 18, 2011 11:41 am

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.

Barred people working with vulnerable groups

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September 7, 2011 4:33 pm

Fears that barred people will still be able to work with vulnerable groups have resurfaced following a Freedom of Information request to the ISA

In July, a report by the Child Protection All Party Parliamentary Group concluded that the government must act to prevent changes to vetting and barring procedures in the Protection of Freedoms Bill that could allow unsuitable people to work with children.  However under the proposed legislation currently going through parliament, people will only be eligible for disclosures if they have ‘unsupervised’ contact with children.  And another proposed change means that, in future, the person must have committed the serious offence and the ISA or Secretary of State must have reason to believe they have worked in, are working in or may work in a regulated activity.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority  information showed that 36 people were suspected of applying to work with children between 1 May 2010 and 10 August 2011 while barred.  However the ISA’s annual report for 2010/11 also shows it had provided evidence to the police in relation to 215 people who tried to gain employment with children or vulnerable adults while barred.   Campaigners fear the numbers of cases detected and pursued by police represent the tip of the iceberg because as of 31 March 2011, there were 35,654 people on the children’s barred list. This represents a 66 per cent rise on the figure for 31 March 2010 of 21,419.  The true figure for offences committed could be far higher as individual police forces do not routinely inform the ISA of all cases where a person has engaged, or attempted to engage, in regulated activity. 

 Following a Freedom of Information request to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) made by Children & Young People Now,  it has emerged that, since April 2006,  just 19 people appeared before the courts charged with a total of 21 offences related to working with children while on the barred list.    Of those 19, only 9 were recorded as being convicted of the offence, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. For the latest year available, April 2010 to March 2011, 6 charges proceeded to court against 4 people.

Jan Cosgrove, National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, said: “The government must consider urgently the implications of these figures. There needs to be a mandatory reporting system to the minister and the Association of Chief Police Officers, which tracks these issues, one based on centrally decided criteria that should determine when and how police forces must inform the ISA of such attempted breaches.”  He added: “The misguided proposal in the Protection of Freedoms Bill needs a complete rethink. The one thing that should inform legislators on this is the compulsive, opportunist nature of such offending. These worrying figures reinforce that lesson.”

 At present, anyone who has committed certain serious offences is automatically barred.  The barred list includes all individuals who have committed sexual offences against children, as well as other specified sexual and violent offences.  Discretionary bars can be made as a result of employers or other regulatory bodies referring relevant safeguarding information to the ISA, a key change introduced in the wake of the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by Ian Huntley in Soham in 2002. The ISA made 517 such discretionary bars in 2010/11.  

Tender for Disclosure and Barring Services issued

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August 26, 2011 10:12 am

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'»

Freedoms Bill committee stage

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March 21, 2011 2:41 pm

The Protection of Freedoms Bill Committee will hear oral evidence on Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 March, these meetings are open to the public. The Committee will then continue to consider the Bill every Tuesday and Thursday from that point concluding on Tuesday 17 May.  The relevant times for the safeguarding regime aspects of the Bill are below: Continue reading 'Freedoms Bill committee stage'»

CRB fee increase

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March 16, 2011 8:22 am

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.

Job losses at CRB & ISA

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February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

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'»

CRB & ISA to merge into new body

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February 5, 2011 9:32 am

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'»

RCN challenges ISA

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January 31, 2011 2:23 pm

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is supporting three nurses to launch a major test case against the Government in the European Court, following a High Court ruling last year.  The nurses were automatically barred from working by the ISA  following cautions. If successful, the action could mean that the government was liable for significant compensation payouts. Continue reading 'RCN challenges ISA'»

Questions as the VBS review is awaited

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January 18, 2011 1:29 pm

From Hansard  – written answer relating to the future of the ISA Continue reading 'Questions as the VBS review is awaited'»

First stage of the Vetting & Barring Scheme

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October 9, 2009 1:34 pm

From 12 October 2009 the following changes occurred: Continue reading 'First stage of the Vetting & Barring Scheme'»