Child Benefit: Personal Records

Treasury written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials of (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs have been disciplined or dismissed for (i) alleged breaches of data protection requirements and (ii) inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in each of the last three years for which information is available.

Photo of Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy Financial Secretary, HM Treasury

HM Treasury predominately hold personal data for their staff in connection with their responsibility as an employer. In the last three years, no HM Treasury staff have been disciplined or dismissed for inappropriate access to personal or sensitive data.

HMRC has a strict policy forbidding staff to access customer records, unless they have a legitimate business need. Breaches of this policy are taken seriously and any breach will result in the commencement of disciplinary proceedings. Each case is treated on its merits but in many cases the disciplinary penalty for breach is dismissal.

The number of HMRC staff who have been disciplined or dismissed for inappropriate access to personal or sensitive data during the three years since HMRC was established in April 2005 are as follows and reflect the strength of HMRC's internal disciplinary procedures.

April 2005 to December 2005 238
January 2006 to December 2006 180
January 2007 to December 2007 192

However, these figures still represent less than 1 per cent. of total staff for each of the three years in question.

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