IT glitch hits disclosure process

THE launch of a new scheme to improve the protection of vulnerable people has been postponed for nearly three months due to technical problems.

The information technology system to improve the vetting of those who have access to vulnerable groups had been due to go live on 30 November.

But Scotland's children's minister Adam Ingram said the new IT system supporting the scheme was not "fit for purpose" and revealed it was being delayed until February to make it more "robust".

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Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Robert Brown claimed the delay put vulnerable groups at risk.

Mr Brown said: "This is not an acceptable excuse for the Scottish Government. Delaying the new scheme not only puts vulnerable people at risk, but also hugely inconveniences volunteers, swimming teachers and others who may need separate registrations.

"They need to get these IT problems sorted so that these long awaited changes to improve bureaucracy can go ahead."

Mr Ingram defended his decision to postpone the launch of the system and said there was still "some work to do" on it.

He said: "The system of background checks for those who have access to vulnerable people, including our children, has to be as robust as possible.

"Our current system is very good and the new system will be even better.

"However, given how important this protection is, in making a change the precautionary principle must apply.

"Therefore, before we move to a new system, we must ensure it is robust and able to deliver the improvements we want.

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"The programme board have advised there remains some work to do to ensure the new IT system that supports the scheme is fully fit for purpose and that's why I've taken the decision to postpone implementation."