HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 cc87-8W
Sandra Gidley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to assist voluntary youth organisations by meeting the cost of Criminal Record Bureau charges from public funds. [138301]

Mr. Charles Clarke

It has always been the intention that, when the Criminal Records Bureau comes on stream, it will be expected to recover its costs through charges that it makes in relation to the certificates that it issues, on application, to individuals. Voluntary organisations, and employers, will be able to reimburse applicants if they so wish. Waiving charges in respect of those applying from the voluntary sector, or from part of the sector, would inevitably increase the cost to the public purse or for other applicants. We have made clear our determination to keep fees as low as possible. An impact assessment will address the implications for the voluntary sector and others.

Mr. Corbett

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the regulatory impact assessment on the Criminal Records Bureau was commissioned; and when it will be published. [138047]

Mr. Charles Clarke

[holding answer 13 November 2000]: A compliance cost assessment (a forerunner of current regulatory impact assessments) was carried out in 1996 in advance of the introduction of the Police Bill. A further regulatory impact assessment is to be conducted to provide an up-to-date evaluation of the implications for those applying for certificates of the fees to be charged by the Criminal Records Bureau. The exercise will be carried out before regulations are made which prescribe such matters as the level of fees, in advance of the Bureau becoming operational in around July 2001. Officials will contact a cross-section of affected organisations before the end of November in order to seek information about those organisations and about the implications for them of the charging of fees. This information will be collated in the regulatory impact assessment document which it is hoped it will be possible to make public for wider consultation before the end of February. I shall write to my hon. Friend as soon as the detailed timetable, which is the subject of continuing discussions, has become clearer.