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Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many former prisoners are employed by his Department; and what his Department’s policy is on employing former prisoners. (246346)

Although information on the criminal history of candidates is collected as part of the recruitment process, this information is not held electronically for members of staff and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Within our recruitment process we carry out character reference checks and undertake security vetting and we request information on criminal records and convictions as part of both processes. When deciding whether or not to confirm an appointment on the basis of the vetting information received, we apply the criteria set out under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.