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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil servants in his Department have been (a) investigated, (b) suspended and (c) dismissed for (i) losing and (ii) deliberately disclosing (A) data stored on departmental equipment and (B) confidential information in each year since 1997. (242917)

There have been three such cases in the Northern Ireland Office and its agencies and legal offices since 1997. As there are fewer than five cases, details about the cases cannot be released for reasons of confidentiality. The Northern Ireland Office has clear policies and processes in place to ensure that staff understand the importance of data security and data confidentiality and to ensure that any cases of potential data loss can be properly dealt with.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of contractors and suppliers to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies has reported compliance with the Government’s security standards following publication of the report, “Data Handling Procedures in Government”, and the accompanying document, “Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action”, on 25 June 2008. (245328)

The Northern Ireland Office breakdown percentage of contractors and suppliers that have reported compliance to Government requirements is: (a) the core Department—80 per cent.; and (b) our agencies—60 per cent. My departmental officials are working with our contractors and suppliers to ensure they maintain and improve compliance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have which allow contractors to store personal data of UK citizens overseas; for which contracts this applies; in which countries the data for each contract is held; and how many people have their data stored overseas in the case of each such contract. (245349)

There are no contracts in the Northern Ireland Office and its agencies that allow contractors to store personal data of UK citizens overseas.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of the IT systems in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies are fully accredited to the Government's security standards. (245391)

The percentage of IT systems holding protectively marked data accredited in my Department is as follows: (a) the core Department 100 per cent.; and (b) the agencies—75 per cent. The remaining systems that hold protectively marked data are in the accreditation process.