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Civil Servants (Personal Files)

Volume 984: debated on Friday 9 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether he can offer any guarantees to Northern Ireland civil servants regarding the confidentiality of the personal files that are maintained on them by the various establishment divisions;(2) how many existing civil servants in the Government of Northern Ireland were assured that their replies to questions on the application form they completed prior to entering the service would be treated as confidential;(3) whether he will arrange for the consent of individual Northern Ireland civil servants to be obtained before details given on application forms are revealed to persons outside the establishment divisions of individual Department

Applicants for posts in the Northern Ireland Civil Service are not given an assurance that replies to questions on application forms will be treated as confidential. However, the information is used only for personnel management purposes. The consent of the individual concerned is sought before information contained on personal files is disclosed for any other purpose except where such disclosure is required by law.