Feeds

Overzealous anti-paedo scheme not dead yet

Scale back and rebrand of VBS is likely later this week

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Volunteers and those working with children will only need to undergo intrusive vetting of their private lives in future if they work in "sensitive posts" or "have intensive contact with children or vulnerable people".

That, at least, is the claim made by the Telegraph, in an exclusive on the "demise" of New Labour’s much-maligned Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) last week. A spokeswoman for the Home Office was rather more reluctant to confirm that this is the case, telling us only that registration had been "halted in June to allow the new Government to bring the criminal records and Vetting and Barring regime back to common sense levels".

She went on: "The terms of reference for the remodelling of the VBS and of the criminal records regime are currently being considered and a further announcement will be made shortly."

This seems likely to happen later this week, according to the Telegraph, when the Government publishes the long-awaited Freedom Bill, which begins in earnest the task of unpicking some of the more nannyish of the last government’s legislation.

It is therefore slightly premature to be reading the last rites on this scheme: anything could yet happen in the course of the parliamentary horse-trading likely to follow. Otherwise, though, the VBS is on course for very significant shrinking and reduction in scope.

Key changes, according to a Whitehall source, include:

  • a shift to the employer of the duty to ensure staff are properly checked and cleared to work;
  • criminal record checks being sent first to the individual being checked – to allow them to check and challenge inaccuracies before misinformation is passed on to a potential employer; and
  • the removal of minor offences from checks.

This last move indicates a major shift in government thinking: hard-coded into the current VBS is the view that the system should not simply exclude individuals who had committed crimes in the past – but that it should also attempt to predict (and exclude) those likely to do so in future. This it would do by collating details of minor crimes committed, as well as interests (such as violent erotic films) that might statistically indicate a propensity for future real-life violence.

In addition, the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) – which currently supervises the VBS – will be merged back into the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), creating a single national organisation responsible for checking into people’s backgrounds.

This was a key issue in the setting up of the VBS: it had been originally envisaged, in part, as a way to do away with the multiple checking that had become a feature of the CRB system. But it turned out that the ISA would not substitute for a CRB check – but would instead add yet another layer of bureaucracy to individuals looking for work. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.