Independent Safeguarding Authority

The Independent Safeguarding Authority is yet another Quango set up by Government, this time with the remit:

Our role  is to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Independent Safeguarding Authority

Independent Safeguarding Authority

The Quango was set up as a result of the Bishard enquiry in to the 2002 Soham murders, which recommended a single agency to vet all individuals who want to work or volunteer with vulnerable people.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) was formally vested on 2 January 2008 and commenced operations in March 2008. The ISA’s budget for 2009-10 is £12.9 million.

There really should be no great surprise that the Government should seek, fairly quickly ways to justify its existence and the introduction of legislation for the requirement for volunteers in contact with children, by the Vetting and Safeguarding Policy Unit who are the sponsors for the ISA, shouldn’t really come as a shock.

Once the Quango came in to force, there was a certain amount of inevitability that some form of new ligislation would be introduced. Once again however, something well intentioned is being introduced in a hurry, without proper consultation or debate, other than by those with a vested interest in justifying their remit.

This clumsy regulation is typical of Government Legislation. The scope is ill-defined the actual requirements are undisclosed and the effect has inevitably drawn enormous criticism.

The ISA itself has a strange stlye of operation to quote:

‘…The ISA’s Decision-Making Process Guidance is a living document subject to constant review and updating (as one would expect it to be) and that we reserve our right to change or update it without notice or consultation. We will make future versions available on our website at appropriate intervals….’ (source ISA website).

Iexpect that many people are in broad support of the idea of the legislation being introduced, the fact remains that the legislation is equally divisive as to what the impact of these rules will have on volunteers.

Due to the fact that yet another Quango will be responsible for safeguarding information, I expect many people will just not trust them to do this safely. Many people do not see the need for yet another arms length body to undertake the process of protection. Others just plainly object to the ever increasing levels of legislation which micro-manages our every day lives.

Unfortunately the debate has fallen already to ridiculous levels, with those opposing the scheme being told ‘they therefore don’t want paedophiles to be caught’ or ‘what else do you suggest is done’.

The argument put forward by some opposing the scheme, is that nothing more needs to be done, they do not accept the opening gambit that there needs to be a change in the law. Others agree that further legislation would be helpful, but that this scheme is a hammer to crack a nut.

The moment a Quango springs up, legislation will follow. The first question is to wonder whether an unelected, unaccountable Quango should be responsible for the protection of the vulnerable. As with all Quangos the tentacles of influence and control will grow, the accountability disappear and another enormous bureaucratic super-structure will evolve.

I also question, how when the legislation comes in to force, will the ISA actually keep up with applications.

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3 Responses “Independent Safeguarding Authority”

  1. D Heathcote says:

    This is another kneejerk reaction by this government and will not alter the risk to the vulnerable in our society. It has been formed as another money making racket and the innocent become the victims. It is exactley the same as the recent HGV/PSV driver training scam, sorry scheme.

  2. anarchyintheuk says:

    I think you are exactly right. The effectiveness will be limited and the money wasted limitless.

    I don’t know of the PSV/HGV scheme so will get up to speed on that.

  3. [Blocked by CFC] fenderbirds says:

    nice article, keep the posts coming

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