Almost 100 private companies and public agencies have been given privileged access to NSW Police criminal records on a cash-for-access scheme. The Greens have secured the release of the list of organizations in NSW authorized by the NSW Police to undertake criminal record checks without needing to notify public agencies.

The list includes a number of organisations where it is very difficult to see a justification for them having access to such sensitive information including small construction companies, the Crown Casino, and British American Tobacco.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This is highly sensitive information and it is hard to see why private companies are given access to NSW police criminal records.

“It is unclear if consent was really given to all the criminal record searches undertaken, and unanswered questions about how and where records were distributed.

“Even a cursory examination of the list shows a number of organizations without ABNs some that have been deregistered. It appears that no one in the NSW Police Force is checking who gets access.

“To stay on this list all organisations have to do is undertake 50 records checks per year, but there’s nothing requiring these searches to be necessary or legitimate.

“Allowing corporates to have access to criminal record information with no justification or accountability is a recipe for dodgy dealings.

“There is no evidence of police auditing these organisations to ensure they are only gaining access to appropriate records.

“We’re calling on the Police Minister to get this scheme into shape and ensure it is fit for purpose. This should include an investigation of how so many corporations got access to this information and if there has been any misuse of this access,” Mr Shoebridge said.