Independent Safeguarding Authority delayed

Government scheme to list those who fail criminal record checks on hold until 2010

The Government's new vetting and barring scheme to protect children and vulnerable adults has been delayed until July next year.

The scheme will establish a single body, the Independent Safeguarding Authority, to administer the list of people who have failed criminal records checks.

There are currently three separate lists maintained by two different government departments: the Protection of Children Act list, held by the Department for Children, Schools and Families; the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list, also maintained by the DCSF on behalf of the Department of Health; and what used to be called List 99, which is information held under the Education Act 2002 and held by the DCSF.

This system was due to be replaced in October, but the Home Office has announced that it will not now happen until 26 July 2010.

Clare Smith, director of human resources at Leonard Cheshire Disability, which has 7,000 staff and 3,000 volunteers, said she was pleased about the delay.

"This means we will get a year without having to face the huge costs of rechecking all our staff," she said.

The new system was likely to cost the charity £500,000 and a huge amount of work, she said.

Meg Hillier, the identity minister at the Home Office, said: "We already have one of the most comprehensive vetting systems in the world. Once employers start being updated with new information about their employees from July 2010, it will offer even greater protection."

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