To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when consultation will take place on the regulations to be made under section 3 of the Access to Personal Files Act 1987 in respect of access for individuals to manually maintained records containing information relating to themselves held by local authority social work departments in Scotland.
Proposals for the making of these regulations were issued today and a copy of the consultative paper and a list of bodies to which it is addressed has been placed in the Library of the House. The paper has been issued to local authorities in Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and those voluntary organisations principally concerned with the interests of social work client groups whose records are likely to be held by local authorities and others representing more general consumer interests. A response has been requested by 27 May.The right of access provided under these proposals is in line with that already available in relation to local authority records of the same type under the Data Protection Act 1984. The proposals include a safeguard that information may be withheld if access is likely to result in serious harm to the physical or mental health, or emotional condition, of the individual requesting access, or to another person.It is proposed that local authorities will be able to charge an access fee of up to a maximum of £10.