Criminal checks on home-to-school transport drivers will be independently checked, it has been announced - following claims it should not be "for the contractor to self-police".
Birmingham City Council cabinet member Cllr Sharon Thompson has said an external company will support the council in verifying disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks on all drivers.
Presumably their own staff haven't proved up to the task?
A report published by Birmingham City Council noted that 59 out of 110 employees at North Birmingham Travel involved in the contract did not appear to have a documented DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check in place.
Sixteen staff had 'positive disclosures' - meaning they included cautions, convictions or other criminal disclosures, which are not an automatic bar but are subject to further scrutiny - but "officers could only assure themselves about two".
A further allegation said a document relating to DBS checks appeared to have been tampered with.
At least the private companies' services can be dispensed with by cancelling the contract. We're stuck with the local authority staff.