The Criminal Records Bureau is failing to protect vulnerable
children and adults and yet still nobody has taken proper
responsibility for its shortfalls, a new Liberal Democrat report
claims, writes Katie Leason.
The report from Paul Burstow MP lists the failings of the CRB,
starting with its seven-month delay in going live in March last
year. It says that at that time “the system was not fit for
purpose, it was not ready to cope, it should not have gone
It adds that the CRB was “drowning in paper”, and
that the decision to include a paper based application route for
disclosures “had a serious impact on the CRB’s
Despite expectations that people would use the phone or
electronic routes to apply for disclosures, in practice eight out
of 10 applications were made by paper.
“The failure to identify at a much earlier stage such a
basic customer requirement as how they would prefer to apply is
staggering” claims the report published Burstow, who is the
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for older people.
The report concludes that commercial confidentiality had
provided a “convenient means of clouding questions of
accountability”, and that consequently it had been difficult
to establish whether Capita, the private sector partner which runs
the CRB, had delivered the system specified by the home office.
In addition it points out that, so far, no one at a senior level
connected with the CRB has resigned and that “perhaps it is
time they considered their position”.
Burstow said that there was no excuse for “sheer
incompetence” and that the officials involved in the initial
planning and inception of the CRB should step down.
”The Criminal Records Bureau. The anatomy of a systems
failure” available from firstname.lastname@example.org