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LibCons to reduce vetting and barring

Defettering continues

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The new government has announced plans to scale back vetting and barring.

The detailed coalition agreement published on 20 May 2010 extends the list of systems the government will scrap or scale back in the name of civil liberties.

It says the vetting and barring scheme, used to check the backgrounds of people working with children and vulnerable adults, will be reviewed to "scale it back to common sense levels".

But it includes an expression of support for the e-Borders scheme run by the Home Office, and says the government will reintroduce checks on those leaving the country.

As already announced, the new government plans to scrap identity cards, the National Identity Scheme, the ContactPoint children's database and the next generation of biometric passports, which would have required applicants to be fingerprinted. The National DNA database will adopt the Scottish model, which does not permanently retain DNA records for those not charged with an offence.

It has also confirmed the plan to "end the storage of internet and email records without good reason" - although it is unclear whether this will spell the end of the Interception Modernisation Programme - and outlaw the fingerprinting of children at school without the parent's consent.

Speaking at a press conference for the launch of the document, home secretary Theresa May added that the government will also include "bringing in rigorous regulation of CCTV".

Talking of the former government's policies, May said: "Much of this authoritarianism has been ineffective."

"This is the most radical programme of decentralisation this country has ever seen," she added.

The agreement also includes plans to split up ICT deals, create a level playing field for open source software and greatly expand online publication of government data.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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