Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill [Lords]

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Mr. Dhanda: In speaking to amendment No. 121, I shall address amendments Nos. 120, 122, 123, 133 and 134 as well. Amendments Nos. 121 and 122 deal with the process for automatic barring and would make it subject to consideration by the IBB. The role of the IBB is not to exercise any discretion in deciding whether to bar a person who has been referred by the Secretary of State. If the Secretary of State is satisfied that the prescribed criteria apply, he must refer the individual to the IBB, which must include the person on the list. There is no useful purpose to be served by asking the IBB to consider whether someone who has been convicted of one of the offences—for example, rape of a child—should be barred. We are clear that barring should automatically follow the conviction.
Mr. Dhanda: Information will go to the IBB via the courts and Criminal Records Bureau process and will indicate that somebody had already been convicted. The hon. Lady proposes an interesting set of circumstances that I cannot envisage arising. I am happy to write to her, but it would be highly irregular were that situation to occur.
Amendments Nos. 120 and 123 propose a code of practice for the IBB in taking its barring decisions. They appear to be intended to ensure that broadly the decision-making processes of the IBB are specified in a code of practice, and that the code is subject to consultation. Criteria would be prescribed for automatic inclusion in the list.
The criteria that may be prescribed are set out in paragraph 19 of schedule 2 and include cautions and convictions for certain offences, inclusion on an overseas list or being subject to an overseas order or direction. Following consultation, the offences will be included in regulations subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, as I believe was made clear in another place. Automatic barring without the right to make representations will result from the most serious sexual offences against children and vulnerable adults, such as rape, sexual assault of a child under 13 in the case of the children’s barred list, or inducement, threat or deception to procure sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder in the case of the adult’s barred list.
It being One o’clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
Adjourned till this day at Four o’clock.
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