Government Departments: Electronic Data

House of Lords written question – answered on 25th January 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Byford Baroness Byford Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government which departments hold personal information in electronic form on archive; and what rules govern extracting such information from an archive or moving it between archives.

Photo of Baroness Crawley Baroness Crawley Government Whip

Information on which departments hold personal information in electronic form within archives is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office. The nature of the personal information held by each department would only be known by each department and be recorded on individual departmental information asset registers.

In June 2008, the Cabinet Secretary published the data handling report (DHR) on the security of cross-government data handling procedures. The DHR deals with specific measures that departments must take in order to improve the security of personal data including its storage and transit. A full copy of the report is available at

In addition, personal information held by government departments is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and each government department is responsible for ensuring that it complies with the Act when carrying out any processing including extracting and transferring personal information.

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