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UK's child protection database delayed again

Government IT fail? Shurely not

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The government's child protection database, which will have entries for 11.3 million people who have contact with children or vulnerable adults, has been delayed again.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority's system will now be fully-functioning by 26 July 2010 rather than 12 October. Legislation was introduced in 2006 after the Bichard report into the Soham murders. That investigation found that various government agencies had information about Ian Huntley which, had it all been put together, could have prevented him working at a primary school.

We failed to get any more information out of the Home Office beyond "IT problems". The official statement reads: "This scheme is built on existing strong safeguards and significantly more will start on 12 October but it is vital the scheme's final elements are properly designed, piloted and tested before they are introduced."

The scheme was originally meant to begin in autumn 2008 - it was delayed because of concerns about data security.

The ISA database includes a criminal record check as well as data from "List 99" which can include cautions and dropped charges. It will also include a list of those considered unsuitable to work with children maintained by the Department of Education and another list of those barred from working with vulnerable adults.

From July everyone on the scheme will be subject to continuous monitoring - the database will check all entries against any new information from police or other sources.

Registering on the database will cost £64 unless you are an unpaid volunteer. Staff moderating websites accessed by children also need to register. ®

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