Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Information Commissioner distances himself from Ed Balls

Today Ed Balls told the Commons:
The hon. Gentleman [Michael Gove] will know, as I wrote to him and to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) this morning, that yesterday I endeavoured to see whether I was able to release the full, confidential, serious case review to parliamentarians, but the clear professional advice given to me was that that would be the wrong thing to do, given the ruling of the Information Commissioner and the importance of making sure that in future, serious case reviews are done properly.
How then to explain the following the following press statement issues by the Information Commissioner's Office today? It says:

The ICO has not been consulted in relation to the release of the case review file regarding the tragic circumstances of the 'Baby P' case. We have not made a ruling on this case.

The Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing personal information when necessary. However, case review files are likely to contain, not only sensitive personal information about the subject of the review, but often about third parties too, such as friends, relatives and professionals. This is a particular consideration where the matter is the subject of such emotive debate, and there may be safety issues for those involved in the case.

There will be circumstances where reports need to be scrutinised by select committees and other bodies to ensure that important lessons are learned. Data protection does not prevent appropriate individuals from accessing relevant information in these circumstances.

At the very least, Ed Balls needs to find himself some new professional advisers.

Thanks to Looking for a Voice.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

Ed Balls is becoming a worry. His continuing overt support for the political leadership in Haringey is very unpleasant when Lynne Featherstone has made their responsibility very clear: "So - I have asked Ed Balls if he would let it be known to the inspectors that he would like them to review those named in statute as being responsible for the services." - that is on her blog in: