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Vetting and Barring comes to a Shuddering Halt

June 15, 2010

Theresa May has announced that the ISA (no – not a savings scheme but the Independent Safeguarding Authority – a QUANGO) is to be “put on hold” and “scaled back”. The first wave of registrations due to start on 26th July will now not happen. There will be wailing and wringing of hands in Darlington as the ISA staff face the dread prospect of having to get a real job. The various big wigs running the ISA will be worried that they might loose their salaries and attendance fees with which they supplement their meagre pensions not to mention the free lunches.

You will recall that the ISA has been created following the Bichard Inquiry about the 2002 murders in Soham of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley. He had got a job as the school caretaker. He should not have got that job and only did so because one police force had not passed vital information about him on to another. Setting up a huge QUANGO eight years later is a ridiculous way of addressing communication failures between police forces. There are much easier and cheaper ways of doing that and I trust the inter-force communication issue was dealt with long ago.

The ISA was proposing to charge every one of the nine million persons forced to apply (including Philip Pulman) a £64 registration fee. That would amount to close to a billion pounds. Apparently some £28 of that was to cover the ISA’s administration costs with the remaining £36 for the CRB. That should be enough to cover the 10 year lease of the 26,500 square feet of office space at Stephenson House at Morton Palms in Darlington plus pay the salaries of all the minions who will work there.

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