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Criminal Records Bureau: Contracts

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the processing of Criminal Records Bureau checks was tendered to the private sector; when the contract with Capita for processing Criminal Records Bureau checks will next be reviewed; and what arrangements have been put in place to ensure that Capita processes such checks in a timely manner. (303637)

The Disclosure Service operates as a contract between the Criminal Records Bureau and Capita Business Services based upon a public-private partnership agreement. Under this agreement, Capita is required to perform contractually specified services and to develop, deliver and maintain the technical infrastructure of the Disclosure Service. A contract schedule sets out the service levels for Capita to meet. The current contract expires in 2012.

The decision to tender to the private sector was made following a detailed options analysis. Five options were initially assessed and these were then reduced to two—Contract Crown/private entity for design, build and operation of CRB against a traditional Crown agency. Assessments based on investment appraisal, financial risk, technical/operational risk, performance management, skills and capability and implementation time concluded that a public-private partnership (PPP) approach was the most beneficial option against these criteria.