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Criminal Records Bureau behind schedule

The government's Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) may launch with only a limited service. The project has fallen further behind...

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The government's Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) may launch with only a limited service. The project has fallen further behind schedule following concerns over data reliability.

Originally set for a July launch, the CRB's official unveiling was postponed until the autumn after fears were raised over the reliability of data from the Police National Computer (PNC).

Earlier this year a Home Affairs Select Committee report revealed that as much as two-thirds of the PNC data - used to check the police record of job applicants - was inaccurate.

A spokesman for the CRB said: "We are making good progress with sorting out the problems with the system, but we will probably have to launch with a limited operation.

"It is vital that the bureau is efficient when it is launched and our primary concern is to offer a robust service."

CRB's private sector partner, Capita, is responsible for developing its IT infrastructure, recruiting staff to operate its call centre and making initial identity checks on applicants.

A joint Capita and CRB statement said: "Working in partnership, the CRB and Capita are making good progress against the revised timetable and are committed to delivering a quality service to its customers. We recognise, however, that this is an ambitious project, and that there is a balance to strike between sticking rigidly to timetables and ensuring that the system and its processes are fit for the purpose."

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