Criminal Records Bureau branded unapproachable by employee procurement agency Commensura

The beleaguered Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has been branded “the least approachable organisation in the public sector” by its second biggest customer.

Julian Young, chief executive of employee procurement agency Comensura, said he had grown frustrated at being fobbed off by the Criminal Records Bureau.

He claimed that after several letters to the body, he was finally given a date for a meeting, only for it to be cancelled on the day, and put back by two months.

Comensura buys £250m of public sector staffing and works with recruitment agencies and firms, including the Carphone Warehouse.

Young said: “We have been enormously concerned at some of the gaps in the process used to screen individuals in high-risk roles.”

The Criminal Records Bureau was slammed by recruiters earlier this month when it emerged that more than 27,000 paper files containing details of crimes committed by UK citizens abroad have failed to make it on to the Police National Computer since 2001.

This Home Office blunder means rapists, murderers and other offenders could apply for jobs in the UK and come through CRB checks clean.

Comensura believes its Safeguarding technology can offer a step towards eliminating employer risk from issues such as this. But the firm insists that the CRB will not sit down and discuss the idea.

“The whole principle behind the CRB is to protect the public community,” said Young. “But it has to be the least approachable organisation in the public sector.”

A spokesman for the Home Office said a meeting with Comensura had been cancelled because CRB chief executive Vince Gaskell was on holiday. It has been rearranged for March.

However, the Safeguarding system would not be sanctioned by the CRB. A spokesman said this was because it allowed individuals to take an approval from one job to another, regardless of what they had done in between.

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