It's Monday and here we are again... Thank you all for your help so far. I was relieved, in a way, that the replies were not all clearcut and in agreement. Just picking up on the points in Doreen's email below...
What if I ask those concerned to give their consent and they refuse it?

Hilary Lawrenson, Data Protection Officer
National Probation Service - South Yorkshire
Head Office
45 Division Street
Sheffield, S1 4GE

Tel 0114 276 6911
Fax 0114 276 1967

"Broom, Doreen" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent by: This list is for those interested in Data Protection issues <[log in to unmask]>

05/01/2007 09:25
Please respond to
"Broom, Doreen" <[log in to unmask]>

[log in to unmask]
Re: [data-protection] Are 3rd party interview notes personal data ?

Sorry but this has been approved by our lawyers.  At the point of a
person giving a statement about another employee - that employee is told
that the information is confidential for the duration of the
investigation.  Also, if you look at Section 7(4)(b) and thereafter
S7(6) - In determining for the purposes of subsection (4)(b) whether it
is reasonable in all the circumstances to comply with the request
without the consent of the other individual concerned, regard shall be
had, in particular to-
(a) any duty of confidentiality owed to the other individual
(b) any steps taken by the data controller with a view to seeking
consent of the other individual
(c) whether the other individual is capable of giving consent, and
(d) any express refusal of consent by the other individual.

You could also claim under Schedule 7 - Miscellaneous exemptions under
"Negotiations" - Personal data which consist of records of the
intentions of the data controller in relation to any negotiations with
the data subject are exempt from the subject information provisions in
any case to the extent to which the application of those provisions
would be likely to prejudice those negotiations.

I suppose we could argue the point until the cows come home but this is
how we would treat it.



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