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.
The CRB has been established for far longer than the ISA and employs almost three times as many staff – 700, compared with 250 in Darlington. Darlington MP Jenny Chapman (Labour) pledged to persuade the Home Office that it made sense to retain the ISA headquarters at Morton Palms. She said:
“The CRB has been rightly criticised as a blunt instrument, that’s bureaucratic and time-consuming for people and organisations. It just runs database checks. The staff at the ISA are more experienced and betterequipped to protect children. They are making fine judgements, based on a variety of sources of information.“There is no doubt that the current system needs rationalising and that the checks need to be more specific, but it is the ISA – not the CRB – that considers the evidence.”
A Home Office source said no decision would be taken on the new organisation’s structure until after the legislation had cleared Parliament, probably in the summer. But he added: “It’s likely it will only need one base. It’s hard to see why a merged organisation would need two sites.”