Council fined over release of information

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A LOTHIANS council which released sensitive information about vulnerable children and carers to the wrong people has been fined £140,000.

Midlothian Council was guilty of five data protection breaches in as many months last year.

It is the first local authority in Scotland to be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is calling for stronger auditing powers to detect other breaches.

In June, child protection minutes were sent to the former home of a mother’s partner, who had lived there in a previous relationship.

Midlothian Council insisted no-one was put at risk, with chief social work officer Colin Anderson describing the breaches as “human error”.

Staff have been subject to disciplinary proceedings. The council said it referred itself to the commissioner and insisted its procedures were sound.