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Children: Databases

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether (a) the Security Service and (b) the Secret Intelligence Service will be allowed access to data on ContactPoint. (266911)

Members of the Security Service or Secret Intelligence Service will not have access to ContactPoint. If they required access to data held on ContactPoint, the Security Service or Secret Intelligence Service would have to make a clear and exceptional case for disclosure, on a case by case basis, directly to the Secretary of State or local authority. The Secretary of State or local authority would then consider each case on its merits and whether it met the prescribed circumstances when deciding whether to disclose the data.

Regulations permit the Secretary of State or a local authority to disclose data held on ContactPoint in very limited, prescribed circumstances, including where disclosure is required:

by court order or by law; or

for the purposes of:

the prevention or detection of crime or

the prosecution of offenders

an investigation under s47 of the Children Act 1989

a local safeguarding children board in exercising its functions under 5(1)(e) of the local safeguarding children board regulations 2006

ContactPoint holds only basic information. It will not hold details of arrest or criminal activity; it will not provide a record of whether or not a child or a member of their family is an offender; and it will not hold subjective observations or case information.