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Norfolk County Council fined for loss of sensitive files

NCC county hall

1:25pm 20th March 2017
(Updated 1:25pm 20th March 2017)

Norfolk County Council has been fined £60,000 after sensitive files about children were sent to a second hand shop.

The papers - which related to seven children - were left in a cabinet that was cleared out as part of an office move.

Simon George, Executive Director for Finance and Commercial Services, said:

“We want to reassure residents that we have robust data protection procedures and have tightened practice in the light of the case published today. As a council we take data protection very seriously and we are very sorry that our practice fell short on this occasion.

We accept the ruling and the fine. There is no evidence that this information has been misused in any way and we are grateful to the member of public that quickly brought this to our attention. We voluntarily reported ourselves to the Information Commissioner and we undertook a careful review to ensure that we could learn from what happened. 

In the three years since this occurred, we have taken strong and effective action to ensure it is not repeated. This has included introducing robust procedures for office moves and training to ensure that our staff are aware of these procedures. Staff also receive mandatory rolling training to ensure they understand their overall data protection responsibilities. A recent voluntary ICO audit gave use the second highest rating for records management and training and awareness. 

We handle a huge amount of personal data every day and incidents such as this are rare but we will continue to monitor and review practice to ensure that the personal data we hold is kept safe.”