Data Protection in Local Government // IT Management Solutions

Data Protection in Local Government

Security breach table 2I am going to make a simple prediction; within 19 months Local Authorities will be subject to compulsory data protection audit.

Why do I think that? Well I think it is obvious if one reads the MoJ’s consultation document that argues that the ICO should have the power to audit NHS data controllers on demand.

For instance, if you consider a “complaint” to the ICO as a possible data protection compliance issue, then the following Table shows that Local Government are the main offenders with respect to data protection failure. They are well ahead of NHS bodies which are likely to be subject to compulsory audit (when the consultation process is complete).

(Click on picture for a larger image).

Secondly, with respect to data loss, Local Authorities, the table below shows that Local Government is second in the list of “reportable data losers”. So, who is next in line if the ICO gets wider powers?

Security breach table

As an aside, note that 78% of all reportable data losses relate to either error in disclosure procedure, lost data or hardware and stolen data or hardware. So, procedures and counter-measures in this area should reduce three quarters of the data loss risk.

Finally, Local Government is blessed with a Secretary of State, Mr Pickles, who likes a good headline or two. Mandatory data protection audits for Local Government would reinforce his “Protecting the tax-payer from careless town-hall bureaucrats” image.

The only real question I think, is which type of organisation is after Local Government for a compulsory audit? Why not the Banks that we all own!

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Scores of blunders sees Norfolk councils breach data laws over confidential ..  — Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has previously called for councils to take their responsibilities for protecting personal data more seriously. He said in 2012: “There is clearly an underlying problem with data protection in local government.”.

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