Although some of the problems with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) are very much to do with how they’ve decided to go about doing their job (see my letter to Sir Roger Singleton for an example), some of the problems are to do with how the law has been written.
There are some MPs who will, or should, be now feeling a bit uneasy about their unqualified praise for that legislation. Take this from Andy Burnham, who in 2007 positively went out his way to associate himself with the legislation that created the ISA (under its previous name):
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill has become the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which will bring into place the new vetting and barring scheme. As a former Home Office Minister, I think that it will have a huge beneficial impact right across our health, education and social care system.
Kudos though to Sarah Teather who warned of the flaws in the legislation long before the current publicity and whilst people such as Andy Burnham were praising it. Here is Sarah Teather in November 2006:
Perhaps we face the prospect of another Bill from the Department, such as the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill in the previous Session, which was constantly rewritten as it went through the House. I hope that that will not be case, because it is not a very sensible way to make legislation. It did not produce good legislation that will hit the issues that need to be tackled.