Police considering vetting charge

02:08, Dec 11 2012

Many professionals, from teachers to truck drivers, undergo criminal background checks as a standard part of the hiring process in their fields.

It's a service that, until now, has been provided free of charge by the New Zealand Police.

Now police are considering charging a fee for that service, estimated at between $5 and $7 per check.

Does your agency or business use police vetting checks as part of its employee screening processes? How would it impact you if police began charging a fee for that service? Would you absorb that cost or pass it to the prospective employee or volunteer?

Police say providing the vetting check service will cost their agency an estimated $2.2 million annually in the years 2013-15, and the $5 to $7 fee would cover that cost in full.

The cost estimate includes direct and indirect staff and operating costs and an 8 per cent cap charge.


Police expect to handle about 435,000 vetting requests annually during that time period.

Nationally, major users of the service include the Department of Internal Affairs, which checks people applying for citizenship, Immigration New Zealand, which checks visa applicants, New Zealand Transport Agency, which checks people seeking commercial licence endorsements, the Ministry of Education and New Zealand Teachers Council, which check all teachers, non-teaching staff and contractors, Children Youth and Family, which checks child caregivers, and various community service organisations.

Vetting checks are the first service to be identified as potentially eligible for fees, but other police services could follow, according to a proposal now open for public submissions on the New Zealand Police website.

A document detailing the proposal and instructions on how to submit comment are available online at www.police.govt.nz/about/consultation/police-services

Submissions are due by 5pm on Tuesday, March 5.

The Timaru Herald