Scilly’s Council Broke Data Protection Act Says Information Commissioner

town hall windows signThe Council broke the rules by sending confidential documents discussing the former school head to our MP, when he hadn’t asked for them.

That’s the ruling of the Information Commissioner.

His office has been investigating a complaint that the Town Hall breached data protection laws, and is in response to a complaint by the former head teacher Bryce Wilby.

Mr WIlby claimed that the Council released several confidential reports to MP Andrew George after he requested an update on the situation at the school.

But Mr George had not asked for those specific documents.

The Commissioner said the Council’s disclosure was “unfair and excessive,” particularly as one of the reports was unrelated to Mr Wilby’s suspension.

He also ruled that the Council was “unlikely to have complied with the requirements of the Data Protection Act” when it released the information.

Earlier this week, we reported that more confidential information relating to the case, including transcripts of interviews with school staff, had been circulated to members of the public.

Council spokesman, George Pearson said there were “a number of potential sources” and not all of those were within the Council.

We asked the Council what steps they were taking to investigate whether any member of staff had contravened the Data Protection Act.

Mr Pearson said the Council is currently looking into issues surrounding the case, but it would be “improper and inappropriate to release any comment whilst this situation is ongoing.”

He has refused to disclose which officer is responsible for keeping the data secure, a legal requirement under the Data Protection Act.

Bryce Wilby told Radio Scilly that he’s delighted that the Information Commissioner has confirmed that the Council has broken the law.

He added that this is the second of many complaints against the actions of the officers and members of the Council to be completed.

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