Specified information in relation to a person who is the subject of an application for a vetting disclosure, means information concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person received by the National Vetting Bureau from An Garda Síochána or a Scheduled Organisation pursuant to section 19 of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016.
It is information that is considered to reasonably give rise to a bona fide concern that the vetting subject may
- harm any child or vulnerable person,
- cause any child or vulnerable person to be harmed,
- put any child or vulnerable person at risk of harm,
- attempt to harm any child or vulnerable person, or,
- incite another person to harm any child or vulnerable person.
Notification of a determination
Under Section 15 of the Act, if specified information is to be disclosed to a relevant organisation the Chief Bureau Officer must, in advance, notify the vetting subject of the intention to disclose the information.
The vetting subject will be notified directly by the Chief Bureau Officer that he/she is considering disclosure of the information and the Chief Bureau Officer will provide a summary in writing of the specified information and inform the vetting subject that he or she may make a written submission in relation to the specified information.
On receiving this notification the vetting subject may make a submission in writing to the Chief Bureau Officer concerning the information, not later than 14 days, from the date of noftification, or a longer period if the Chief Bureau Officer specifies.
When the Chief Bureau Officer is making a determination as to whether the specified information should be disclosed, he or she must reasonably believe that the information is of such a nature as to give rise to a bona fide concern that the vetting subject may harm, attempt to harm or put at risk of harm, a child or vulnerable person and must be satisfied that the disclosure of this information is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of children or vulnerable persons.
Making a determination
In making a determination, the Chief Bureau Officer must take a number of matters into account, including the relevance of the type of work concerned, and the rights of the applicant. Section 15 (4) (a)-(g) of the Act outlines the areas the Chief Bureau Officer shall have regard to in making a determination.
The Chief Bureau Officer can make any further enquiries necessary from An Garda Síochána or a Scheduled Organisation, to assist in making a determination.
When the Chief Bureau Officer has made a determination that specified information should be disclosed, he or she shall
- notify the vetting subject in writing of the determination and the reasons for it,
- provide a copy of the specified information proposed to be disclosed,
- notify the vetting subject of the intention to disclose the specified information to a liaison person for the relevant organisation concerned after the expiry of 14 days, and
- inform the vetting subject that he or she may appeal the determination to an appeals officer not later than 14 days, or such longer period as the appeals officer may determine, after the date of the notification is sent to the vetting subject.
It is important to note that the National Vetting Bureau will not make any disclosure in relation to the vetting subject until the 14 days allowed for the making of an appeal has elapsed, or where an appeal is lodged, until the determination or withdrawal of the appeal.