Feeds

Gov retreats on vetting database but ain't climbing down

Balls throws vetting critics a bone

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Government tinkering with the eligibility rules for the new Vetting and Barring Scheme may satisfy some critics – but the black hole of logic at the heart of the scheme has not been addressed.

This weekend saw the long-awaited report back from Sir Roger Singleton, Chairman of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), tasked in September with giving the once-over to the regulations underpinning the vetting system and checking them for sense – or possibly identifying political bear traps and covering them over before the Minister could fall in.

The published regulations envisaged individuals having to be registered with the Vetting and Barring scheme if their contact with vulnerable groups was "frequent", "intense" or "regular".

Unfortunately, their implementation was stirring up Middle England: parents worried about their continuing right to provide lifts for the children of friends. Authors – and politicians – appeared caught by a rule that claimed contact counted even if it never occurred with the same individuals twice.

This was nonsense even within the limited logic of the scheme, which is all about regulating those circumstances where a relationship of trust could emerge. However, the need for clear and legally enforceable rules has led to this proliferation of bureaucratic detail: an attempt, in essence, to reduce relationship building to a set of civil service guidelines.

Changes proposed by Sir Roger and accepted by Education Secretary Ed Balls include:

- Changing the frequency criteria from three days in three months (monthly) to once a week, and the intensive test to four days a month or overnight

- Scrapping the rule whereby contact with different sets of individuals could count towards the definition of "frequent" contact

- Giving overseas visitors bringing groups of children into Britain a three month exemption before they are required to register

- Excluding from the registration requirement parents who host exchange visits for less than 28 days, although this is qualified by the arrangement having to have been made directly/privately with an overseas family

- A review of the minimum age for registration, and an immediate change to remove the vetting requirement from those aged up to 18 and in education (so removing the registration requirement from sixth-formers doing voluntary work, for instance).

Predictably, this abrupt U-turn - calling in a senior establishment figure at the last minute to review what government had for three years been touting as a done deal - has been welcomed by many critics. According to the BBC, Sir Roger’s review received the thumbs up from the Scout Association, teachers' union NASUWT, children's charity Barnardo's and author Philip Pullman.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.