Jun 13 2012 by Jackie Grant, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
A REVIEW has been ordered into the council’s handling of confidential information after more than 2,000 names and addresses of childminders were sent out in an email by mistake.
Labour councillors demanded an inquiry after the second data blunder by the authority in a year.
The council’s education director, Colin Grant, posted letters of apology after personal details of 2,115 childminders in the region were sent out to other agencies without permission.
And officials have confirmed that the Information Commissioner’s Office will be conducting a “data protection consensual audit” on the authority from June 25.
A report to policy councillors states: “This audit will provide a baseline assessment, in selective areas, of the evidence of good practice and, more importantly, what is needed by way of developments and improvements in those areas, in terms of our handling of individuals’ personal and sensitive personal information.”
Labour group leader councillor Ronnie Nicholson yesterday welcomed the move.
He said: “To have two serious breaches of data security in the space of a year suggests there are underlying problems with the way in which the council handles confidential information.
“People are rightly asking why lessons were not learned following the blunder last year when the salary details of 900 council employees were mistakenly published.”
He added: “I am pleased that the council has agreed to Labour’s call for a wholesale review into their data security, but it is disappointing it took yet another data leak to force them to do it.
“We should have had more leadership from the SNP and Tory coalition who should have ensured the council learned the lessons from the previous leak. This review needs to thoroughly investigate the council’s procedures because we need to know why these breaches keep happening.
“The results of the audit need to be published quickly with clear action taken to address the issues raised in order to restore local people’s confidence that the council can be trusted with sensitive data.”