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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what audits her Department and its agencies have carried out in relation to personal data and IT equipment in each of the last 10 years. (176483)

Communities and Local Government’s security team has a rolling programme of security checks and reviews that check that protectively marked material, including personal information, is handled and stored correctly, and that portable ICT equipment is adequately secured when not in use. They also verify that the department's Government offices and agencies meet the appropriate standards.

As part of the review of data handling carried out by the Cabinet Office in 2007, Communities and Local Government did go through an exercise of identifying major business systems which held personal data. This has confirmed that many areas of this Department already have appropriate processes and controls in place. Communities and Local Government will be implementing the recommendations of the report of this review. New systems involving the storage and processing of data have to be formally accredited by the departmental IT security officer regarding data safeguards, and regularly reaccredited thereafter.