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Children: Databases

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what matters remain to be resolved regarding unshielded duplicate records of shielded children on ContactPoint; who is responsible for resolving them; and what steps he is taking to achieve a resolution; (271498)

(2) how many and which local authorities did not meet the 13 March shielding policies deadline for ContactPoint.

[holding answer 27 April 2009]: The information needed for ContactPoint comes from existing systems, national and local. These data will be refreshed and updated automatically from these systems on a regular basis. We have received core information from four national data sources and this is the data set that all LAs have been working on to shield records. Work has also begun on the first updated data load from these sources, to ensure records held on ContactPoint are as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

We received a few reports of cases where updates from these sources may not be matching as expected. We took immediate action to investigate and initial indications are that matching is working correctly.

However, as a transitional precautionary measure, we have paused the ongoing data update feed while we investigate the instances reported to us.

This will minimise any risk to records that have been shielded.

Data feed from national systems will re-commence once all local authority ContactPoint management teams have been given access to ContactPoint.

DCSF continue to investigate the reports of duplicate records and will make changes as necessary.

We are taking a prudent and incremental approach to ContactPoint delivery. Local authorities provided a progress update on their shielding activity 13 March, which included whether they had robust arrangements in place to deal with shielding requests on an ongoing basis. Two thirds of local authorities confirmed that they had completed the required shielding actions. These responses were sent in confidence and as part of the normal, ongoing discussion between the Departments and local authorities and as part of the implementation process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of registered IP addresses from which ContactPoint will be accessible. (274724)

There has been no estimate of the likely maximum number of registered IP addresses from which ContactPoint will be accessible. We expect that the majority of users will access ContactPoint via secure Government networks. The remainder will only be able to access ContactPoint from known, accredited computer systems.

Organisations that access ContactPoint via accredited computer systems will be asked to register IP address(es) for any computer that will be used to gain access. The number of IP addresses each organisation supplies will depend on many factors, including their network architecture. Some organisations will supply one IP address, others will supply a range.