Local Authorities Can Improve Data Protection, Says ICO Audi

According to an audit report by the Information Commissioner's Office, there is room for improvement in how local authorities protect personal data.

Of the 16 local authorities audited by the ICO in 2013, none of them received a high overall assurance rating for compliance with the Data Protection Act.

The report explains a list of areas that need improving as identified by the audits, focusing on training and ensuring effective data protection governance is in place. The report also listed examples of good practice found during the audits in particular areas such as information security and records management.

Nine were informed they had room for improvement; six were told they had considerable room for improvement and one was warned immediate action was required.

John-Pierre Lamb, good practice team group manager at the ICO said: "The ICO has levied monetary penalties to local authorities for the most serious breaches of the data protection principles, totalling over £2.3m.

"The types of breaches we are seeing are fairly consistent, with personal information being disclosed in error and lost or stolen paperwork and hardware prevalent.

"It's clear there's room for improvement and not just by the local authorities we visited. The areas for improvement we identified in those visits should prove helpful to many local authorities".

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