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Criminal Records Bureau

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how, and for what purpose, the Invest to Save funding awarded to the Criminal Records Bureau by HM Treasury will be allocated. [112034]

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) received £575,000 to pilot an electronic link from the CRB to police forces, enabling Enhanced Disclosure checks to be undertaken with the minimum of manual intervention, while remaining under a police force's control. The objective is to reduce the proportion of enhanced applications referred to local police forces from 100 per cent. to 5 per cent. to 10 per cent. The funding is allocated solely to this project.The Invest to Save Budget (ISB) was set up in 1998 by Her Majesty's Treasury, in collaboration with the Cabinet Office. Its aim is to provide funding for projects that bring together two or more public bodies to deliver services in an innovative fashion.ISB provides a means of investing in partnership projects with the potential for transforming public services. The projects need to be further developed before this potential can be unlocked. Funds are allocated competitively and public sector managers are challenged to come forward with proposals that will make a real difference.To date, the ISB has supported 136 partnership projects with a total of £180 million, following the first two bidding rounds. A further 123 projects have been selected for funding following the third round. The projects are spread right across the public sector, involving central Government, local government, health authorities, police and others.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what costs have been incurred to date on enhancements and improvements to the system supplied to the Criminal Records Bureau by Capita (a) before and (b) after it started operations. [112040]

The costs incurred prior to the Go Live date were £10,590,581. Costs incurred from the Go Live date to 7 May 2003 were £541,789.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the assessment of the Criminal Records Bureau system testing by the Office of Government Commerce referred to in the main findings of the independent review team report published on 27 February. [112065]

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is currently renegotiating the contract with its private sector partner, Capita pic. The release of the full text of the Gateway 4 and 4 (a) reports, produced by the Office of Government Commerce, may influence these negotiations. Given Exemption 13 afforded by Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, edited copies of these reports will be placed in the Library. The purpose of Exemption 13 is to protect a third party's commercial confidences. Upon conclusion of the contract renegotiations the CRB will consider releasing these reports in their unedited form.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of whether the documentation of the current release of the Criminal Records Bureau system is (a) complete and (b) up to date. [112097]

The Criminal Records Bureau's Main Agreement includes a requirement for full system documentation to be produced. Recent reviews have highlighted some deficiencies of a technical nature which are subject to a confidential report. These deficiencies will be addressed through the contract renegotiations. It would not be appropriate at this stage to prejudge the outcome of these negotiations.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the statement of 30 April by the hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), Official Report, column 125WH, on the Criminal Records Bureau, when he expects to announce revisions to the charges for standard and enhanced disclosures. [112102]

As was pointed out during the Adjournment debate initiated by the hon. member on 30 April, the current charges for standard and enhanced disclosures are under review. We will make an at once the review has been completed.