Independent team reviews CRB’s objectives

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Secretary David Blunkett has announced that he is bringing in a senior
independent team to improve the performance of the Criminal Records Bureau.

The
team have been asked to take a fundamental look at the service’s strategy and
operations of the business. It will provide the Home Secretary and Lord Falconer
with their initial views in 10 days time.

The
team will identify what steps need to be taken to ensure the CRB delivers its
twin objectives of providing greater protection for children and vulnerable
adults while seeing that the disclosure process does not act as a bar to speedy
recruitment. They will have a continuing role in overseeing improvements to the
service.

Blunkett
said: "I am pleased that the recent difficulties with school checks are
now being resolved, but I remain concerned by the ongoing problems that have
beset the CRB. I am determined that we will overcome these difficulties to
ensure that this vital new service to protect the public operates
effectively."

"The
appointment of Patrick Carter to lead a team including John Holden, a newly appointed
non-executive director of the Passport and Records Agency Board and Ron Skelly,
a consultant to the Office of Government Commerce, will significantly aid the
CRB’s performance."

Blunkett
said the team will be focusing on what needs to be done to ensure the medium
and long-term success of the service.

By Paul Nelson

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