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Departmental Files (Access)

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Paymaster General 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 handling information about individuals on computer files, the guidelines for Government Departments issued by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency are observed. These guidelines are contained in "Protection of Information in Computer Systems" and "Central Government Code of Practice No. 21". Copies have been placed in the Library.Access to manual files containing information on individuals, including personnel files, is controlled on a "need-to-know" basis. Files containing confidential or personally sensitive information are kept in secure conditions. Arrangements for logging, where necessary, are matched to the particular requirements of the filing system concerned.