Data protection a priority for SBC

David Parker and Tracey Logan launch the SBC information campaign
David Parker and Tracey Logan launch the SBC information campaign

SIx months after they were handed a £250,000 fine for a serious data protection breach, Scottish Borders Council have launched a campaign chiefed with raising awareness on the importance of looking after information properly.

The campaign entitled ‘Think Information’ is part of the Council’s Information Management project which aims to improve and strengthen the safeguards SBC has around the information it collects, holds and uses.

As part of the campaign council leader, Councillor David Parker and Chief Executive, Tracey Logan signed up to the Personal Information Promise with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the authority the council fell foul of after more than 800 files containing pension records of former employees were found in recycling bins by members of the public in September 2011.

The signed document outlines ten promises which the Council has voluntarily shown it is committed to keeping as part of its role as a public authority.

The campaign has five strands – Think Privacy, Security, Accuracy, Transparency and Efficiency. The first strand of the campaign is ‘Think Privacy’ and aims to raise awareness of the Data Protection Act.

A series of awareness raising activities will take place across SBC over the coming months.

Tracey Logan, chief executive, explained: “Data security and accurate information are key principles of our approach to information management.

“To ensure we follow these principles we have a range of policies and strategies in place. Through this project, we aim to ensure these principles are applied diligently throughout the organisation in an efficient way and with customer service, effective governance and transparency at their core.

“We are rolling out a series of additional training programmes, materials and activities which aim to give staff the information and knowledge they require as part of their role as an employee of the Council.”

David Parker, leader of the Council added: “This promise we have signed today is our way of showing the people of the Borders that we are absolutely committed to ensuring we protect their information.

“Data and information are at the core of the Council’s business and this data and information are collected, processed and published using a variety of methods and are held in various formats.

“Through this project, we want to ensure all SBC staff are fully aware of their legal responsibilities for making sure information is looked after correctly.”