Anston Parish Council leaks like a sieve.
During the past 6 months it has become apparent that someone very closely connected to the council has got a mouth the size of the Woodhead Tunnel. As examples on two occasions private information has been disclosed to a contractor and in the last instance former councillor Steve Baker gave councillors on the Staffing Committee a critique of what he perceived to be general management failures and the mismanagement of the ground staff. The details of that discussion was totally misrepresented to the ground staff. This has been confirmed by councillors who gave separate accounts of the meeting when the details of the leak was disclosed.
On another occasion the contents of a private email to the Clerk were leaked. This was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office who declared it was a Breach of the Data Protection Act, Schedules 1 & 6.
Whoever is repeating and/or disclosing the contents of meetings and emails should realise he/she is not only breaching the Code of Conduct (which would be reported to RMBC’s Monitoring Officer) but also putting themselves and APC in a potentially difficult (and costly) position if the ICO decides to investigate and take action over the breach of the DPA.
Following the introduction of the Privacy and Electronic
Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, there is no longer a requirement to demonstrate substantial damage and substantial distress in PECR cases. Therefore, in order to serve a monetary penalty notice (Up to £500,000) under PECR, the Commissioner need only be satisfied that; There has been a serious contravention of the requirements of PECR by a person, the contravention was deliberate; or, the person knew, or ought to have known, that there was a risk that the contravention would occur, but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the contravention.
The Clerk to the Council, the RFO and Anston Parish councillors need to get a grip to identify the person with the loose mouth and tighten their procedures.