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Police response to IPCA and OPC joint review of Vetting

Police response to IPCA and OPC joint review of Police Vetting

To be attributed to Superintendent Steve Kehoe:

Police welcomes the findings and recommendations presented in the report from the joint review of the Police Vetting Service by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC).

Police vets over 500,000 New Zealanders every year and has an obligation to achieve a balance between protecting the most vulnerable in our communities, and protecting the privacy of individuals who are the subject of vetting applications.

Police requested the IPCA and OPC review this very complex issue.

The aim was to review the vetting policies and procedures to ensure that they were robust and legally compliant, and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Police has already implemented changes and begun taking steps to address a number of issues identified during the review and the recommendations made in the report.
IPCA and OPC said in the report, “we commend the Police for the steps they are already taking to address a number of issues identified during the review and the recommendations made here.”

These steps include:

• Working through the list of current approved agencies to ensure they meet the criteria.

• Developing a more comprehensive system to consistently record decisions made on relevant policy and process issues.

• Appointing a dedicated and experienced panel member to provide continuity to the review of vetting applications.

This approach was found to have significantly improved the rigour and consistency of panel deliberations.

• Investing considerable effort in reducing delays including, increases in staff numbers and enhancements to the electronic processing of applications.

Police agrees that more changes need to be made to strengthen the efficiency and integrity of police vetting and have developed a work plan in response to the recommendations.

Police also supports the recommendation that consideration be given to developing a clear statutory framework for vetting.

ENDS

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