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Departmental Files

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Environment what arrangements operate for the logging of those who have access to (a) computer and (b) manual files kept by his Department on individuals; and if he will describe the procedures in operation for both categories.

In the case of computer files containing information on individuals, specific guidelines on security of automatically processed data in Government Departments are observed. They are contained in 'Protection of Information in Computer Systems' and 'Central Government Code of Practice No. 21', issued by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, which give recommended procedures to safeguard data in computer installations. Copies of these guidelines have been placed in the House library.Manual files on individual members of staff are open only to the personnel officers responsible for those staff and to other officers with a "specific need to know".