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DATA-PROTECTION  January 2010

DATA-PROTECTION January 2010

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Subject:

Re: Third party permission to disclose

From:

"Bradshaw, Phillip" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bradshaw, Phillip

Date:

Fri, 22 Jan 2010 17:23:08 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (154 lines)

With the usual provisos that (a) it all depends o
 

Lawrence



With the usual provisos that (a) it all depends on a proper assessment

of all the facts (b) it is information you are considering not copies of

the documents as such my likely response would be :



1. To the extent that it can be done in such a way as to make

identification of the informant impossible the content of the file note

(but not the identity of the informant) would be disclosed - in fact to

a large extent that has already been done as the social worker would

have to reveal the purpose of the visit, which was not just to have a

chat and a cup of tea. Any information not revealed in the visit which

might identify informant would not be disclosed. Of course often there

is only one possible informant - but if asked directly you grit your

teeth and refuse to confirm or deny.



2. In the second unless there was evidence of something more sinister I

would probably not worry about disclosing the wife's identity. It is

obvious and even if I decide not to seek consent as such I can

reasonably decide that  "it is reasonable in all the circumstances to

comply with the request without the consent of the other individual".

Even then I would probably redact and let husband draw the appropriate

inferences. 





Phillip Bradshaw



Information Manager 

Clerk to the Council



Room CY4A, County Hall



EMail: [log in to unmask]



Phone:         029 2087 3346

Mobile :        07890 265987 



Fax:              029 2087 3349



Information is the Currency of Democracy





-----Original Message-----

From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection issues

[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lawrence Serewicz

Sent: 22 January 2010 16:05

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: [data-protection] Third party permission to disclose



Dear All,



I have been thinking about DP and Access to records legislation.  What

about a situation where someone wants to see a file note created on

their account.  I will give two different scenarios. The first is social

care, the second is benefits.



In the first, someone calls social services and expresses concern to the

care worker about a relative.  They say that they are worried about how

the relative's partner is treating them and concerned about that they

are being cut off from their relatives.  The phone call is noted and

then entered on the social care file.  Social worker visits the client.

Client is told that someone has called expressing concern about her. The

Client then becomes upset because she believes her family (or someone)

is meddling and making slanderous or libelous allegations about the

partner and asks to see a copy of the file note to seek legal action on

the allegations.



The second is a couple split up and the husband moves out.  However, he

leaves no forwarding address and they remain joint owners of the home.

Council tax comes due and the wife calls the council and explains that

the husband moved on on x date so council tax should be reduced or he

should be pursued for his half.  File note is duly created noting the

date husband vacated home.  Husband is then pursued for his share.  He

seeks copy of file note wanting to know what it says and when it was

entered. The content is simply that the wife informed the council that

he left the home on the date nothing more.





Both have DP implications.  In the first, I could see redacting the 3rd

party information and still supplying the information i.e. enough so

that they cannot identify the source.  In the second, the 3rd party is

known i.e. the wife so I cannot redact that in any way that the

applicant would not know the wife submitted the material. For example,

we have a note on your account showing you moved out on x date.  What?

Who told you that? I want to see the file note.



In the first I could proceed, but in the second would I be better using

s.7(6)(a)? Or have I over analyzed the second and it is something that

would be routinely disclosable in any circumstance?



Any guidance would be appreciated.



Thanks



Lawrence





Durham City of Culture - Back the Bid: register at www.durham.gov.uk.



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