Using IT

  bigggles 08:18 15 Jan 07

The furore regarding the backlog of work at the Home Office, in entering crimes into the Police national database, has meant (according to the Daily Mail/Express et al) that “murderers and paedophiles may be working in sensitive positions etc”

So here’s my question – can we really expect IT to accurately track people in this way? I work for a government department, and I know how suspect our database is – inaccurate entries, poor spelling, lack of training/expertise, badly designed in the first place. My wife has to have a CRB check to work voluntarily with children – a hugely bureaucratic exercise of doubtful accuracy, which serves to deter the willing but not identify those with another agenda.

We should not rely solely on database entries to confirm suitability for a job, on the basis of undetected crime, but society seems to be placing increasing reliance on technology and less on references, interviews and personal judgement. I don’t think we can use IT in this way, at least not until every detail of each of our lives can be recorded to perfection. And I don’t know that I want to live in world like that.

  Chris-347369 08:31 15 Jan 07

I will admit these systems have their failings but as far as I can see the only alternative would be paper records which would hold the same information, can be any sort if they're not maintained and can be lost.

I'd rather rely on a computer system that can be searched in minutes rather than days and is backed up

  Chris-347369 08:31 15 Jan 07

"can be any sort if they're not maintained"

Sorry it's early! That should have read can be in any sort of order!

  rezeeg 08:39 15 Jan 07

bigggles I agree that I don't want every full-stop of my life recorded on some central computer, but in the case of criminals/suspected criminals I think it'd be a good thing - Soham springs to mind.

  bigggles 09:31 15 Jan 07

Soham is an excellent example of my point. The hand-wringing, post Huntley, concentrated entirely on the lack of co-operation between Police Forces. No mention of references, work history or other selection techniques – just the failure to transfer unsubstantiated allegations and the benefit of hindsight.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 09:33 15 Jan 07

People move a lot and keeping track of them is nigh impossible. You only need to look at the problems that the CSA and council tax officers have. Now if we all had ID cards that needed to be scanned when collecting benefits etc..................


  microcoder 14:22 15 Jan 07

"Now if we all had ID cards ...."

Is that the same as saying -

"When we all buy Vista then all our Microsoft problems will be a thing of the past!"

  Zero G 15:54 15 Jan 07

I'm currently doing contract work within the NHS & i have to go through an enhanced CRB check every 6 months as it's policy of the Agency i'm working for, who kindly pay for it. However it seems that CRB checking & Vetting is done on a less professional basis for full time Trust employed staff.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:16 15 Jan 07

I don't think that you understand the concept of ID cards.


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