Home Office criticised for failures in reforms to criminal records vetting

Disclosure and Barring Service revamp is four years late and £230m over budget, say MPs

The Home Office has been accused of running a “masterclass in incompetence” over its attempts to improve the criminal records checking scheme.

Parliament’s public spending watchdog said a programme to modernise the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has been marred by poor planning, delays and spiralling costs.

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Senate approves bill to overhaul system for reporting sexual harassment

Bill eliminates mandatory ‘cooling off’ periods for handling claims and requires lawmakers to repay the treasury for settlements

The Senate gave swift approval on Thursday to a bill that revamps the system for handling sexual harassment complaints on Capitol Hill.

The bill eliminates mandatory waiting periods for handling claims and requires lawmakers to repay the treasury for harassment settlements.

Related: Eight women allege sexual harassment at XPO Logistics warehouse in Memphis

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Harassment rife in chambers and courts, barristers group says

Behind the Gown initiative launched to help exploited lawyers fight abuse of power

Barristers’ chambers and courts are plagued with sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power, according to a group dedicated to delivering justice to exploited lawyers.

The inaugural meeting of Behind the Gown, held in central London on Wednesday evening, heard complaints of inappropriate behaviour and discriminatory conduct by judges, QCs and senior lawyers.

Related: Barristers in England and Wales ‘in grip of mental health crisis’

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