Criminal records system faces a second delay

The launch of the Government's central Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has been postponed for a second time, as predicted by public...

The launch of the Government's central Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has been postponed for a second time, as predicted by public sector figures in Computer Weekly earlier this year.

Mike McClelland, national officer at the National Association of Probation Officers, said, "The likelihood of the records ever being in a usable state is now in question." This further postponement suggests that our original concerns were well founded, he added.

The CRB's full launch will now be in April 2002. The original start date was to have been July this year.

The system relies on data from the Police National Computer (PNC) to check job applicants. Earlier this year a report from the Home Affairs Select Committee found that up to two-thirds of PNC data contained errors.

MPs expressed concern that "manifest levels of PNC error" would make it difficult to support the CRB system.

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