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Departmental Vetting

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what procedures his Department follows for checking the criminal records of employees; and if he will make a statement. (213132)

The Department for International Development (DFID) follows the centrally mandated baseline standard clearance procedure for all individuals working on DFID premises. This includes a criminal record check of unspent convictions through the organisation Disclosure Scotland. Staff requiring a higher, national security vetting clearance, will have their criminal records checked against spent as well as unspent convictions.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of successful applicants for jobs in his Department are subjected to a criminal records check; how many (a) successful applicants and (b) criminal records checks there were in each of the last 10 years; how many successful applicants were found to have a criminal record after a criminal records check took place in each of the last 10 years; whether the selection of successful candidates to be subjected to a criminal records check is random or targeted; and if he will make a statement. (213152)

Under the centrally mandated baseline standard procedure introduced in 2007 the Department for International Development (DFID) undertakes a 100 per cent. criminal record check against unspent convictions for all staff working on DFID premises. Prior to the introduction of the baseline standard criminal record checks were undertaken on all staff under national security vetting procedures.

The number of new recruits (successful applicants) on whom such checks were carried out in recent years is shown in the following table.

June to May each year

New recruits

2003-04

113

2004-05

100

2005-06

65

2006-07

97

The historic data requested for 10 years is not readily available, and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. DFID does not maintain a historic record of the number of successful applicants who were found to have a criminal record.