NATIONAL VETTING BUREAU ACT COULD INCREASE WAITING TIMES AND ACT AS A ‘BARRIER TO VOLUNTEERING’
January 23rd, 2012: A group of voluntary sector leaders today called on the Government to ensure that adequate resources are put in place to cope with the increased number of applications that will arise from the introduction of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012.
Age and Opportunity, The National Youth Council of Ireland, The Wheel, Volunteer Ireland, the network of Volunteer Centres in Ireland and Voluntary Service Overseas Ireland are concerned that increased waiting times for Garda Vetting could act as a barrier to volunteering and a disincentive to volunteer with thousands of volunteer-involving-organisations who work with and for young people and vulnerable adults in Ireland.
In a letter sent today to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, the organisations welcome the introduction of the Act, which will ensure a standard of Garda Vetting is implemented in all relevant volunteer involving organisations in Ireland and will help to make our country safer for both the beneficiaries of volunteering and for volunteers themselves. The group are, however, concerned that adequate resources are yet to be put in place to cope with an increased level of Garda Vetting applications.
The legislation, which will require thousands of new and existing volunteers to be vetted for the first time, will significantly increase the level of applications to the National Vetting Bureau – which currently has a waiting period of 6-12 weeks to process applications.
The organisations have worked closely with the Garda Vetting Unit to date and appreciate the challenges the Unit has faced with limited resources and meeting increased demand for vetting. The group urges the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that the National Vetting Bureau is adequately resourced to deal with a significant increase in applications and the additional workload associated with this.
Notes to Editor
A copy of the open letter is available to download from http://www.volunteer.ie/downloads/National_Vetting_Bureau_Act_Letter.pdf
For further information please contact:
Phil Boughton, Communications and Policy Officer, Volunteer Ireland. Tel: (01) 636 9446 / 085 742 7017
Ciaran McKinney, Director of Development, Age and Opportunity. Tel: (01) 853 5181
Daniel Meister, Communications Manager, NYCI. Tel: 087 781 4903 or (01) 478 4122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gert Ackermann, Communications Officer, The Wheel: Tel: (01) 454 8727
Deirdre Finlay, Head of Programmes, VSO Ireland: Tel (01) 640 1060