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Departmental Databases

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information databases his Department (a) maintains and (b) uses which do not contain personal information. (284399)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and its network of diplomatic posts overseas use a large number of databases, of varying size and complexity. The most significant of these are managed centrally.

These databases support a wide range of activities across the organisation, from the processing of passport applications and recording consular assistance to British citizens overseas, to managing the FCO's financial and personnel administration across the whole network of FCO departments and posts overseas. Each post normally also holds local business and official contacts databases.

Many of the FCO databases may contain personal information about our staff and members of the public who have sought our assistance, but all personal information held on FCO databases is strictly protected in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.