Lack of detail about databases raises concerns

The government’s failure to provide more details on the
proposed databases containing information on all children was
slammed by opposition MPs as the Children Bill reached committee
stage last week, writes Amy Taylor.

The government is due to publish a consultation document on
certain aspects of the databases this week but it was not ready in
time for the committee stage.

Liberal Democrat MP Annette Brooke said that there were
“still too many questions and not enough answers” on
the proposed databases.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton added: “We are being asked to
sign a blank cheque without even seeing the consultation details
let alone the proposal that the government intend to put forward as
a result of that consultation.”

He added that it could be years before the public saw what the
government would “physically and practically produce, which
may or may not be acceptable to many people with great

Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs’ failed in their
attempts to try to get more details on the type of information
stored on the database and the disclosure of information put into
the bill.

The consultation document will contain stakeholders’ views
on how practitioners working in “sensitive” services
should record their involvement with a child on the databases and
how and when practitioners should record that they have a concern
about a child. Responses to this will help to inform the draft
regulations to be put before Parliament.

The bill will complete its remaining stages next week.


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