Australia, New Zealand Share Criminal Database 'til July 2013

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 15, 2012 5:51 PM EST

Considering its benefits to employers of both countries, Australia and New Zealand have agreed to prolong the criminal history information sharing scheme until July 2013.

With the six-month trial period scheduled to end this December 2012, the criminal history information sharing scheme has been a vital component for employers based in Queensland and New Zealand to verify the authenticity of records and other documents submitted to them by potential applicants, ensuring they do not hire criminals along their roster of personnel.

"The trial is progressing well and will continue to help employers to make decisions about who they hire and will protect our communities from people who may pose a risk," Australian Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare said in a statement on Thursday.

"New Zealand is our closest neighbour and that closeness brings great economic benefits, however, it also makes it easier for criminals to move between our two countries," he added.

New Zealand Minister of Justice Judith Collins, meanwhile, said both governments are working toward a more automated process and are pondering how the present arrangement can be extended to criminal history information requests from employers across Australia and New Zealand.

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