§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many questions are asked by the Criminal Records Office of those for whom criminal records checks in connection with work with children are sought; and of those which are essential to the conduct of a check. 
§ Hilary Benn
[holding answer 24 July 2002]The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure Application form has a total of 42 questions, 25 of which are considered essential to enable the CRB to undertake the necessary checks. The remaining questions are asked to enable the CRB to process applications more quickly, or relate to referee details that, in some circumstances, the CRB may need to contact for additional details.
Applicants can apply for a Disclosure either by completing and posting an application form, or over the phone. The telephone operator will ask a minimum of six questions, (to establish contact details), and applicants then have the option of supplying almost all of the information required for the form over the telephone.
§ Hilary Benn
The Criminal Records Bureau is not meeting its Disclosure Application processing service standards. At present these are taking five to six weeks and this applies to both 'standard' and enhanced Disclosures.749W
To address this, the bureau has introduced a performance improvement plan. This should ensure that, over the coming weeks, service levels will improve steadily until the full service standards are met.