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Convictions: Disclosure of Information

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department plans to bring forward proposals to reform the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 on the disclosure of previous criminal convictions for ex-offenders; and if he will make a statement. (197304)

The Government undertook a review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in 2002 and published the document 'Breaking the Circle' which set out proposals for reform of the Act. That paper made proposals for modifying disclosure periods for offences, and other changes to the operation of the Act. In 2003 the Government agreed that the proposals had merit and proposed to legislate when parliamentary time allowed. I am currently reviewing the position in the light of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which was based on the recommendations of the Bichard report, and which makes changes to the disclosure situation for ex-offenders in many areas of employment.