In our next series of essays, I am going to take us on a walk through of the National Vetting Bureau Act 2012 (the “Act”). Today’s essay will be a brief overview of this ground-breaking legislation, and sets out what we’ll be exploring in more detail over the next few essays.
The essays should be of particular relevance to anyone in a management or board level of responsibility in an organisation working with children or vulnerable adults. Today we’re going to look at a the general structure of the Act, and what I consider to be the key sections of the legislation.
OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE ACT
The Act is split into 4 Parts.
- Part 1 is preliminary and general information about the Act.
- Part 2 deals with the creation of the new National Vetting Bureau (Children And Vulnerable Persons) Database System.
- Part 3 deals with the procedures for Vetting Disclosures.
- Part 4 deals with what it calls miscellaneous provisions.
In this series I’m going to explore the following areas:
REASONS FOR DELAY
The reasons why the legislation is only being commenced (come into effect) some four years after it was originally enacted in 2012.
WHAT PARTICULAR WORDS & PHRASES MEAN
A detailed look at the defined terms contained in the legislation (including in relation to the definition of relevant work with children, and relevant work with vulnerable adults).
EXCLUDED ORGANISATIONS & ACTIVITIES
A review of those activities and organisations specifically excluded from falling within the agreement of the legislation.
The creation of the National Vetting Bureau (Children And Vulnerable Persons) Database System.
The function to be performed by the National Vetting Bureau.
ORGANISATION REGISTRATION WITH THE NVB
The requirements for an organisation to be registered with the National Vetting Bureau.
The role and function of the liaison person within that organisation (generally speaking known today as the authorised signatory).
REGISTER OF SPECIFIED INFORMATION
The creation of the Register of Specified Information along with the Register of Vetted Persons.
CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO VET
The impact of an organisation failure to obtain a vetting disclosure (along with the criminal liability is the flow from the failure, as well as the defences available to the offence).
The procedural Application process involved in applying for a vetting disclosure (including for persons under the age of 18).
The procedural process whereby the National Vetting Bureau processes an application for a vetting disclosure, And what it does in the event that is specified information becomes part of the processing of the application.
In the event of this potential disclosure of specified information, we also look at the assessment and determination process governed by the Chief Bureau Officer in assessing such specified information.
ORGANISATION'S OBLIGATIONS ON RECEIPT OF A VETTING DISCLOSURE
We will also look what organisations must do on receipt of a vetting disclosure.
SPECIFIED INFORMATION APPEALS PROCESS
We will also look at the formalised appeals process (that involves the appointment of independent solicitors or barristers of considerable standing).
REPORTING OBLIGATIONS ON REGULATORY & DISCIPLINARY BODIES
We will also explore the impact of the requirement for regulatory or disciplinary bodies to notify the National Vetting Bureau of bona fide concerns as to the person who is the subject of the regulatory or disciplinary process.
We will look at the requirement to re-vet after a certain period of time (and why this needs to take place).
BUREAU ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE OIREACHTAS
The requirement for the bureau to be held accountable to the Oireachtas on an annual basis.
The wide ranging powers of the newly created compliance officers, along with the impact of interfering in the performance other compliance officers functions.
NEW CRIMINAL OFFENCES
The creation of new criminal offences relating to vetting disclosures definitely to fines or imprisonment.
CONSENT, CONNIVANCE, WILFUL NEGLECT BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS / MANAGEMENT
The creation of personal criminal liabilities for directors, managers, secretaries are other officers of a organisation where an offence committed by that organisation with the consent, connivance or wilful neglect of any of those previously mentioned personnel.
I hope you’ll be able to join me on this journey, and if there are any particular questions you want us to look at, just let me know in the comments section, or by email and I’d be delighted to investigate further. Looking forward to being in touch next time in the first of the essays as we walk through the National Vetting Bureau Act, and what you need to look out for.