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DWP extends staff criminal record checks

Will check all successful candidates

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The Department for Work and Pensions, which manages personal data on virtually every adult in the country, plans to check whether new staff have criminal records.

It previously asked all applicants whether they had a criminal record, with an actual check carried out only for appointments to sensitive posts.

In response to a written parliamentary question on the protection of social security data on 20 March 2008, minister Anne McGuire said that last April the department also started checking a random 10 per cent of potential recruits, following Cabinet Office advice.

It found that seven of the 567 checked between April and the end of the year had a criminal record, although two were still given jobs.

"In the light of this experience, my department has decided to implement criminal record checks of all successful candidates for posts. This will be introduced on a phased basis," said McGuire.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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