Capita pays huge financial penalty for failing to meet bureau service targets

The firm responsible for running the Criminal Records Bureau on
behalf of the Home Office has been forced to pay back nearly
£2m for its role in the CRB’s failings, it emerged this

Paul Goggins, the minister with responsibility for the CRB, said in
a letter to Matthew Taylor, the Liberal Democrat shadow treasury
spokesperson, that Capita had returned £1.8m in damages and
service credits up to January this year.

Further service credits have continued to be deducted since
February. However, agreements on the sums involved are part of
continuing contractual negotiations relating to the implementation
of the recommendations by the independent review team set up by the
government last September to investigate the CRB fiasco.

“The fact that ministers have already clawed back £1.8m in
penalties shows what a monumental failure the Criminal Records
Bureau has been,” Taylor said. “This contract was a botched job for
which the government and private sector must share equal

“To make matters worse, the contract and the penalties incurred
under it have been shrouded in secrecy.”

The figures emerged following a complaint to the parliamentary
ombudsman, Ann Abraham, regarding the Home Office’s failure to
respond to Taylor’s questions on the CRB and Capita.

Goggins attributed the delay to the confidentiality clauses in the
Capita-Home Office contract, which the company said covered
information on damages.

The letter from Goggins revealed that the £1.8m included
damages of £690,000 for delays in the CRB development
programme and web-based application system, and problems relating
to the National Intelligence Service. Service credits worth
£1.1m were deducted for failure to meet service standards,
including turnaround times.

Taylor has now called for officials linked to the planning of the
CRB to stand down from their jobs. “None of the officials involved
in the planning and inception of the CRB have lost their jobs,” he
said. “It is surely now time for them to step down.”

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