Government Departments: Disclosure of Information

Duchy of Lancaster written question – answered on 23 February 2009.

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Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many unauthorised disclosures of information for each Government Department have been reported to the Cabinet Office in each of the last 10 years; in each case, (a) what the nature of the information disclosed was, (b) to whom the information was disclosed and (c) what the post was of the person who disclosed the information; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The total number of leaks recorded by Cabinet Office each year since 2005, when a central record was begun, is as follows:

Total number of leaks
2005 78
2006 98
2007 50

Information for 2008 is currently being assessed. These numbers do not necessarily capture all instances of unauthorised disclosure across Government.

It is for departmental permanent secretaries to take decisions on whether leak investigations into the unauthorised disclosure of information originating in their Departments should be carried out. It has been the policy of successive Administrations not to comment on security matters other than in exceptional circumstances when it is in the public interest to do so.

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