The home office is refusing to confirm or deny reports it plans
to outsource some of the work involved in processing applications
for criminal records checks to a centre in India,
writes Katie Leason.
A range of short-term measures is being considered, which
include using external suppliers either domestically or abroad to
take on some of the administration involved in the processing.
The Criminal Records Bureau has been plagued by a backlog of
applications built up since March. Just 10,000 disclosures have
been issued out of around 57,000 received.
A home office spokesperson claimed that performance is improving
week on week with around a fifth of disclosures now being issued
within 3 weeks.
The CRB has also been accused of breaching the spirit of the
Welsh Language Act for not offering application forms in Welsh.
Aled Edwards, churches liaison officer for the National Assembly
said that the CRB should provide equal provision in both English
and Welsh, and has complained to the Welsh Language Board.
More than 140 MPs’ signatures have been added to three early day
motions which express concern that the cost of carrying out
criminal record checks could be passed onto volunteers by umbrella
registered bodies. The motion tabled by MP for Wealden, Charles
Hendry, urges the government to re-examine the matter and ensure
volunteering is “encouraged not penalised”.