South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway Council sorry over information leak

A local authority has apologised after posting personal information online.

It is understood that the data included details of redundancy payments to named Dumfries and Galloway Council staff.

It was published in response to a Freedom of Information request asking for details of all invoices for more than £500 received and paid by the council from 2009-2013.

The council said it had informed the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

A spokesman said they were made aware of the issue on 26 February and immediately took steps to remove the data from the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

'Human error'

He added: "The ICO has supported our swift action to remove the information from the website concerned so that there is no risk to any one of the named individuals whose names were temporarily published on the website as a result of a genuine human error."

It is the latest in a series of information-related blunders by the council.

In 2012 the authority accidently gave out the names, salary details and service history of almost 900 staff.

An independent inquiry found that the council had "systemic failings" in its data handling procedures and made a series of recommendations.

'More secure'

The council's head of corporate support, Derek Crichton, said: "We apologise that this has happened. This is exactly why our council agreed a robust data protection policy back in June 2012 and prepared a data protection response plan which was agreed in February 2012.

"Whilst such efforts minimise the risk of a data breach, we can never eliminate human error entirely. We can always learn from such incidents. We are checking our procedures to make further improvements and make personal data even more secure.

"The incident and the prompt response have been reported to the Information Commissioner's Office. A report on this incident will be prepared for a future meeting of the audit and risk committee."

An ICO spokeswoman said: "We are aware of an incident at Dumfries and Galloway Council and will be making enquiries."

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