Commercial: Data Protection.

Powys County Council has received a £130,000 fine from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

The breach occurred in February when two reports about child protection cases were sent out mistakenly with papers for another case without being checked.

The person who received the mistaken documents made a complaint to the council and a further complaint to the local MP.

The breach was not an isolated breach as in June 2002 Powys County Council had been reported to the ICO after a social worker sent information about a vulnerable child to the same recipient and the child in the report was known to the recipient.

The ICO had warned the council that further action would be taken if a similar incident occurred and unfortunately it did.

As well as a fine the ICO served an Enforcement Notice, this places a legal requirement on the authority to make further improvements to its Data Protection practices. The notice also requires that all the staff must be trained on how follow the council’s guidance on the handling of personal data by 31st March 2012, with refresher training provided every three years.

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