Data protection breach could cost Herefordshire Council up to £200,000

A SINGLE data protection breach could cost Herefordshire Council a fine of up to £200,000 imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The breach, in the People’s Services directorate, is so sensitive that to reveal its details also risks breaching the data protection act.

Cabinet has already been warned that the £100,000 original allowed for to cover any fine may have to be doubled. The case is currently in the hands of the council’s legal team.

Eighty data protection incidents have been logged by the council since June last year. Two audits of the council’s data protection practice say that the system offers only “limited assurance”.

But the audits do recognise the quality of work performed by the new information governance team (IGT) towards improving data management, particularly in People’s Services.

One audit was carried out by KPMG, the other by the council’s own internal audit process. Both reports returned a “limited assurance” rating.

As a result, the council was recommended to carry out personal data audits across its service areas as soon as possible.

Around 80 of the 120 team units identified have now undergone an information inventory.

An initial information asset register has been prepared ready to map to service functions, information asset owners and administrators by September 2013 for training to start in December.

This register will include the systems where the data is stored and will share reference with a similar register being compiled by Hoople.

The council’s audit and corporate governance committee will tomorrow (Friday) hear that of the 80 data protection incidents logged since June last year, three were self-reported by the council to the ICO and another three open incidents are likely to be self-reported.

Members will be told that the ICO finds the level of reporting “encouraging” a reflecting well on the “high visibility” of the IGT.

Teams identified as priorities for specialist training are adult social care, public health, and child social care.

Among other initiatives are: • A review of available restrictions to prevent users from downloading personal and sensitive information from “unauthorised” sources such as personal home computers and hand held devices.

• A new IT access control policy which requires managers to review access permissions to the information they are responsible for every six months.

Talks are also underway with Hoople to determine a reliable approach across the nine other agencies it works with as suppliers.

The ICO can exercise statutory powers to enforce compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998, impose fines of up to £500,000 for breaches of the act, or prosecute individuals for offences under the act.

Comments (28)

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11:47am Fri 5 Jul 13

Freestyle says...

No surprise really, and nobody will take the blame, anywhere else and people would be sacked!!! a case of oh well...again!!
Don't those in charge realise the basic principles involved........path
etic!!!!
No surprise really, and nobody will take the blame, anywhere else and people would be sacked!!! a case of oh well...again!! Don't those in charge realise the basic principles involved........path etic!!!! Freestyle
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Fri 5 Jul 13

oldergit says...

I didn't understand a word of all that gobbledygook. Who writes this piffle?
I didn't understand a word of all that gobbledygook. Who writes this piffle? oldergit
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Fri 5 Jul 13

TwoWheelsGood says...

Simple really - the Council messed up, again, its going to cost us, a lot. They've failed to safeguard confidential data, for which they will be fined, up to £200k. That is one breach - 80 more have happened in the 12 months.

Never fear though, talks are underway with Hoople ...
Simple really - the Council messed up, again, its going to cost us, a lot. They've failed to safeguard confidential data, for which they will be fined, up to £200k. That is one breach - 80 more have happened in the 12 months. Never fear though, talks are underway with Hoople ... TwoWheelsGood
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ubique5740 says...

Oh No ! Nothing to say except ghkujfdc nhrdvngesbnh
Oh No ! Nothing to say except ghkujfdc nhrdvngesbnh Ubique5740
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Fri 5 Jul 13

bobby47 says...

It's truly staggering how consistently badly this Council and its agents carry out their daily duties.
Whatever they glance at, think of, implement, or even touch, the result is moreoften than not, a completely predictable outcome. 'It becomes a bag of rats'. Over and over and over again at considerable expense to us, they take something and buggar it up.
As for this, if anyone takes the blame and its highly unlikely, then it'll be the guy who waters the bloody hanging baskets. None of the fallout and the subsequent consequences will hit a single suit that walk within that hive of bloody incompetence.
They'll dig in to our dwindling bag of money, pay the bloody fine and prepare themselves for some other rancid dog of a mistake to be revealed and explode beneath our chairs.
It's like bloody Groundog Day. Every day is the same as the last. Slime. Waste. Rubbish and bloody gimmicks and the odd bit of hapless spin that tells us that we are lucky that they are looking after us.
Can it get any worse? Yes it bloody can. The bloody Ukranians? Yep! The weapons manufacturers who did want us to sit on their production line and produce a bomb and a bucket of bullets....well they've decided that they don't want to build that bomb and those bullets here in our County.
We can't even get them to stop here. We are bloody doomed and I blame Jarvis for it all.
It's truly staggering how consistently badly this Council and its agents carry out their daily duties. Whatever they glance at, think of, implement, or even touch, the result is moreoften than not, a completely predictable outcome. 'It becomes a bag of rats'. Over and over and over again at considerable expense to us, they take something and buggar it up. As for this, if anyone takes the blame and its highly unlikely, then it'll be the guy who waters the bloody hanging baskets. None of the fallout and the subsequent consequences will hit a single suit that walk within that hive of bloody incompetence. They'll dig in to our dwindling bag of money, pay the bloody fine and prepare themselves for some other rancid dog of a mistake to be revealed and explode beneath our chairs. It's like bloody Groundog Day. Every day is the same as the last. Slime. Waste. Rubbish and bloody gimmicks and the odd bit of hapless spin that tells us that we are lucky that they are looking after us. Can it get any worse? Yes it bloody can. The bloody Ukranians? Yep! The weapons manufacturers who did want us to sit on their production line and produce a bomb and a bucket of bullets....well they've decided that they don't want to build that bomb and those bullets here in our County. We can't even get them to stop here. We are bloody doomed and I blame Jarvis for it all. bobby47
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ubique5740 says...

Thank you HTfor reporting this - it's pleasing to me that you are prepared to report this.

Now that you have, please start digging further and report further abuse of our money plus abuse of anything else you dig up relating to this Council.
Thank you HTfor reporting this - it's pleasing to me that you are prepared to report this. Now that you have, please start digging further and report further abuse of our money plus abuse of anything else you dig up relating to this Council. Ubique5740
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Fri 5 Jul 13

fmrbill says...

well I would go one further unique my fellow blogger and say to HT if they find abuse report it to police for investigation , seems like misconduct in a public role or something like that seems to be in the news a lot lately. let's get a few locked up if there as been any abuse, misconduct etc.I can see why now last time police brought in over something to do with spending on comps, council didn't want them to take it all the way. me thinks skeletons in cupboards might have been unearthed thus why they asked police to back off ??? any thoughts or me talking rubbish lol
well I would go one further unique my fellow blogger and say to HT if they find abuse report it to police for investigation , seems like misconduct in a public role or something like that seems to be in the news a lot lately. let's get a few locked up if there as been any abuse, misconduct etc.I can see why now last time police brought in over something to do with spending on comps, council didn't want them to take it all the way. me thinks skeletons in cupboards might have been unearthed thus why they asked police to back off ??? any thoughts or me talking rubbish lol fmrbill
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Fri 5 Jul 13

William Rudd says...

Was one of them breaches to do with Mark Hubbard of IOC when he helped himself to documents in a locked drawer in a locked room?
Was one of them breaches to do with Mark Hubbard of IOC when he helped himself to documents in a locked drawer in a locked room? William Rudd
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Fri 5 Jul 13

fmrbill says...

yo Mr Rudd isn't data protection do to with information on computers only
I have no idea just what I pick up whilst talking in one of the lovely but few rural pubs we have left ((((((.
yo Mr Rudd isn't data protection do to with information on computers only I have no idea just what I pick up whilst talking in one of the lovely but few rural pubs we have left ((((((. fmrbill
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ubique5740 says...

From the HCC website.


Public questions agreed for extraordinary council meeting 19 July 2013

05 July 2013


The Chairman of Herefordshire Council has agreed that members of the public will be allowed to submit a written question for the extraordinary council meeting on July 19, 2013 to discuss the Local Development Framework (Core Strategy) https://www.hereford
shire.gov.uk/plannin
g-and-building-contr
ol/planning-policy/c
ore-strategy/
Members of the public can submit a question (one per person) via email councillorservices@h
erefordshire.gov.uk or by hand to the reception desk at
the council’s Brockington offices at 35 Hafod Road Hereford HR1 2SE.
Questions can be submitted up until 12 noon Monday 8 July, 2013. In the event that a large number of questions are submitted, they will be grouped into themes for a written response.
For further information on council meetings please e-mail councillorservices@h
erefordshire.gov.uk
From the HCC website. Public questions agreed for extraordinary council meeting 19 July 2013 05 July 2013 The Chairman of Herefordshire Council has agreed that members of the public will be allowed to submit a written question for the extraordinary council meeting on July 19, 2013 to discuss the Local Development Framework (Core Strategy) https://www.hereford shire.gov.uk/plannin g-and-building-contr ol/planning-policy/c ore-strategy/ Members of the public can submit a question (one per person) via email councillorservices@h erefordshire.gov.uk or by hand to the reception desk at the council’s Brockington offices at 35 Hafod Road Hereford HR1 2SE. Questions can be submitted up until 12 noon Monday 8 July, 2013. In the event that a large number of questions are submitted, they will be grouped into themes for a written response. For further information on council meetings please e-mail councillorservices@h erefordshire.gov.uk Ubique5740
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Fri 5 Jul 13

probono says...

A lot of lawyers have left Council emply in recent times. they would have the expertise to know how to do this perhaps.?
A lot of lawyers have left Council emply in recent times. they would have the expertise to know how to do this perhaps.? probono
  • Score: 0

12:07am Sat 6 Jul 13

Captain scarlett says...

Data protection applies to all data on computer or paper records. Just to clarify, it will be us tax payers that pay the fine, not council officers who once again together with the ruling Tory cabinet have neglected their managerial responsibilities. Heads should role but instead more services will be lost due to incompetence.
Data protection applies to all data on computer or paper records. Just to clarify, it will be us tax payers that pay the fine, not council officers who once again together with the ruling Tory cabinet have neglected their managerial responsibilities. Heads should role but instead more services will be lost due to incompetence. Captain scarlett
  • Score: 0

8:53am Sat 6 Jul 13

makeithappen says...

I heard lots of staff personal data went missing some of which was highly personal stuff like doctors reports and medical certificates. One member of staff who complained when her doctors reports went missing was told that she couldn't prove she'd ever given them the documents in the first place. I think she's going to complain to the ICO, talk about adding insult to injury first of all they lose all your medical notes then you're told you have to prove you gave them them to them in the first place! Shes also now likely to lose her job in the latest round redundancies because she dared to complain. That's the problem with HC if you stand up to them they will find a way to get rid of you which then leaves the Council wide open to litigation!
I heard lots of staff personal data went missing some of which was highly personal stuff like doctors reports and medical certificates. One member of staff who complained when her doctors reports went missing was told that she couldn't prove she'd ever given them the documents in the first place. I think she's going to complain to the ICO, talk about adding insult to injury first of all they lose all your medical notes then you're told you have to prove you gave them them to them in the first place! Shes also now likely to lose her job in the latest round redundancies because she dared to complain. That's the problem with HC if you stand up to them they will find a way to get rid of you which then leaves the Council wide open to litigation! makeithappen
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Sat 6 Jul 13

GDJ says...

For a Directorate to take data protection and FoI seriously, it needs leadership for whom compliance with those requirements is important. Culture comes from the top.

The director of people's services has herself been responsible in the past for contravening the data protection act. The Information Commissioner's Office is aware of this; perhaps Councillors should also be aware or at least ask questions!
For a Directorate to take data protection and FoI seriously, it needs leadership for whom compliance with those requirements is important. Culture comes from the top. The director of people's services has herself been responsible in the past for contravening the data protection act. The Information Commissioner's Office is aware of this; perhaps Councillors should also be aware or at least ask questions! GDJ
  • Score: 0

8:50pm Sat 6 Jul 13

flamboyant says...

I too heard the Director of Peoples service had breached data protection and is still doing it in relation to a recent bullying and harassment case against three senior managers found guilty of bullying disabled employees! They never learn it's a total disgrace! 'Makeithappen' tell your friend to report the breach to ICO hers could be the final nail!
I too heard the Director of Peoples service had breached data protection and is still doing it in relation to a recent bullying and harassment case against three senior managers found guilty of bullying disabled employees! They never learn it's a total disgrace! 'Makeithappen' tell your friend to report the breach to ICO hers could be the final nail! flamboyant
  • Score: 0

10:49am Sun 7 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

Freestyle wrote:
No surprise really, and nobody will take the blame, anywhere else and people would be sacked!!! a case of oh well...again!!
Don't those in charge realise the basic principles involved........path

etic!!!!
Truth is most other places it would be covered up and never disclosed - public bodies are subject to scrutiny and disclose breaches, some big and some very small.

The banks lose all your names and account numbers, F**ebook gives away your log in details, the restaurant "loses" your card details and someone in Russia spends all your money sometime later - all data breaches - if they ever get fined it's paid by customers.

With all the data there is now in such easily copied (ban everyone entering the building from taking in a phone?), hacked or lost there will be thousands of these.

Not sure that huge fines are as effective as spending some money on systems - but no one on here is going to cheer for money being spent on "back office" or "admin".

You could drown in the paperwork and systems that are required and I don't know who has the solution yet.
[quote][p][bold]Freestyle[/bold] wrote: No surprise really, and nobody will take the blame, anywhere else and people would be sacked!!! a case of oh well...again!! Don't those in charge realise the basic principles involved........path etic!!!![/p][/quote]Truth is most other places it would be covered up and never disclosed - public bodies are subject to scrutiny and disclose breaches, some big and some very small. The banks lose all your names and account numbers, F**ebook gives away your log in details, the restaurant "loses" your card details and someone in Russia spends all your money sometime later - all data breaches - if they ever get fined it's paid by customers. With all the data there is now in such easily copied (ban everyone entering the building from taking in a phone?), hacked or lost there will be thousands of these. Not sure that huge fines are as effective as spending some money on systems - but no one on here is going to cheer for money being spent on "back office" or "admin". You could drown in the paperwork and systems that are required and I don't know who has the solution yet. WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

11:46am Sun 7 Jul 13

GDJ says...

WYSIATI wrote:
Freestyle wrote:
No surprise really, and nobody will take the blame, anywhere else and people would be sacked!!! a case of oh well...again!!
Don't those in charge realise the basic principles involved........path


etic!!!!
Truth is most other places it would be covered up and never disclosed - public bodies are subject to scrutiny and disclose breaches, some big and some very small.

The banks lose all your names and account numbers, F**ebook gives away your log in details, the restaurant "loses" your card details and someone in Russia spends all your money sometime later - all data breaches - if they ever get fined it's paid by customers.

With all the data there is now in such easily copied (ban everyone entering the building from taking in a phone?), hacked or lost there will be thousands of these.

Not sure that huge fines are as effective as spending some money on systems - but no one on here is going to cheer for money being spent on "back office" or "admin".

You could drown in the paperwork and systems that are required and I don't know who has the solution yet.
If a private company acted unlawfully with my data they would lose my custom (as well as getting heavily fined and losing profits). I don't have that option with HCC.

I therefore have a right to expect competence, honesty and integrity from them. In the last year we have had:

Inadequate child protection,
Double counting over £3 million in the budget
Possible £200k fine for DPA breach.

Would any private organisation tolerate this level of failure without heads rolling?

WYSIATI: the solution is partly in robust systems (IT and management) (which come from good leadership), from a culture of respect for personal data, and also from insistence on personal responsibility for following those systems. That can't come from a leadership which itself breaks the rules.
[quote][p][bold]WYSIATI[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Freestyle[/bold] wrote: No surprise really, and nobody will take the blame, anywhere else and people would be sacked!!! a case of oh well...again!! Don't those in charge realise the basic principles involved........path etic!!!![/p][/quote]Truth is most other places it would be covered up and never disclosed - public bodies are subject to scrutiny and disclose breaches, some big and some very small. The banks lose all your names and account numbers, F**ebook gives away your log in details, the restaurant "loses" your card details and someone in Russia spends all your money sometime later - all data breaches - if they ever get fined it's paid by customers. With all the data there is now in such easily copied (ban everyone entering the building from taking in a phone?), hacked or lost there will be thousands of these. Not sure that huge fines are as effective as spending some money on systems - but no one on here is going to cheer for money being spent on "back office" or "admin". You could drown in the paperwork and systems that are required and I don't know who has the solution yet.[/p][/quote]If a private company acted unlawfully with my data they would lose my custom (as well as getting heavily fined and losing profits). I don't have that option with HCC. I therefore have a right to expect competence, honesty and integrity from them. In the last year we have had: Inadequate child protection, Double counting over £3 million in the budget Possible £200k fine for DPA breach. Would any private organisation tolerate this level of failure without heads rolling? WYSIATI: the solution is partly in robust systems (IT and management) (which come from good leadership), from a culture of respect for personal data, and also from insistence on personal responsibility for following those systems. That can't come from a leadership which itself breaks the rules. GDJ
  • Score: 0

3:44am Mon 8 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

GDJ - I don't disagree that it needs to be done right. Nor that there should be responsibility at every level - my expectation is that most breaches occur when those on the coal face make honest mistakes - at least the first time - dealing with unfamiliar situations under lots of stress and pressure. Changing the culture isn't easy.

I wish that I had your faith that private companies did this stuff better - and as for tolerating failure - if you were recklessly running the biggest bank into the ground you might think you'd get into a bit of trouble - rather than a knighthood and a huge pension....staggerin
g number of examples of leaders of industry paid for failing and never facing the consequences.

You might even conclude that the human condition tended to failure and spectacular ones at that - but far more fun to go after those not able to defend themselves but upon whose efforts we all depend for a reasonably fair and equitable society.
GDJ - I don't disagree that it needs to be done right. Nor that there should be responsibility at every level - my expectation is that most breaches occur when those on the coal face make honest mistakes - at least the first time - dealing with unfamiliar situations under lots of stress and pressure. Changing the culture isn't easy. I wish that I had your faith that private companies did this stuff better - and as for tolerating failure - if you were recklessly running the biggest bank into the ground you might think you'd get into a bit of trouble - rather than a knighthood and a huge pension....staggerin g number of examples of leaders of industry paid for failing and never facing the consequences. You might even conclude that the human condition tended to failure and spectacular ones at that - but far more fun to go after those not able to defend themselves but upon whose efforts we all depend for a reasonably fair and equitable society. WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

8:46am Mon 8 Jul 13

GDJ says...

WYSIATI

I agree that honest mistakes by front line workers are bound to happen and as long as lessons are learnt we can move on.

I am sure you will agree, though, that there is a world of difference between that scenario and deliberate breaches by senior managers who are trying to protect their, or their friends' positions.

This is what happens in HCC. If the HT was to ask the HCC legal department, they would not deny that the director of people's services has knowingly contravened the data protection act (they would find a way of not answering the question). My point is that the whole directorate can't have a culture of compliance if the leader hasn't.
WYSIATI I agree that honest mistakes by front line workers are bound to happen and as long as lessons are learnt we can move on. I am sure you will agree, though, that there is a world of difference between that scenario and deliberate breaches by senior managers who are trying to protect their, or their friends' positions. This is what happens in HCC. If the HT was to ask the HCC legal department, they would not deny that the director of people's services has knowingly contravened the data protection act (they would find a way of not answering the question). My point is that the whole directorate can't have a culture of compliance if the leader hasn't. GDJ
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Mon 8 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

GDJ - I don't have any evidence or knowledge that would allow me to comment on the breach you allege or the reasons for it. I hope that the council is getting on top of what is another big challenge and that they don't have to deal with unnecessary difficulties from anyone wishing to cause trouble to make a point rather than pulling together with their organisation
GDJ - I don't have any evidence or knowledge that would allow me to comment on the breach you allege or the reasons for it. I hope that the council is getting on top of what is another big challenge and that they don't have to deal with unnecessary difficulties from anyone wishing to cause trouble to make a point rather than pulling together with their organisation WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Mon 8 Jul 13

GDJ says...

WYSIATI

I do have evidence.

And the legal team and the ICO have evidence.

And I fear you are showing the council mindset that people who point out wrongdoing are somehow themselves "causing trouble".

Although not related to the case I know about, and related to FoI not DPA, if you look on the website What Do They Know you will find someone asking who in the council had had Common Purpose training. The answer was, in effect: 'no-one'. The enquirer then produced receipts proving that HCC had paid for this training and asked why the first response was a lie. HCC delayed replying for several months (itself unlawful) then refused to say where the lie had come from (claiming to not know who had provided the false information) and that it wasn't going to answer the question anyway. That is the culture. Perhaps you would call that "pulling together"?
WYSIATI I do have evidence. And the legal team and the ICO have evidence. And I fear you are showing the council mindset that people who point out wrongdoing are somehow themselves "causing trouble". Although not related to the case I know about, and related to FoI not DPA, if you look on the website What Do They Know you will find someone asking who in the council had had Common Purpose training. The answer was, in effect: 'no-one'. The enquirer then produced receipts proving that HCC had paid for this training and asked why the first response was a lie. HCC delayed replying for several months (itself unlawful) then refused to say where the lie had come from (claiming to not know who had provided the false information) and that it wasn't going to answer the question anyway. That is the culture. Perhaps you would call that "pulling together"? GDJ
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Mon 8 Jul 13

TwoWheelsGood says...

WYSIATI - unfortunately, the whole of public service is infested with Common Purpose, so no matter who you complain to, they all protect each other. The one case you refer to is just a microcosm of what is going on all over the country. It is undeniable that the council spent at least £64000 on CP training - they released receipted invoices as part of the earlier FOI. Yet now they deny it, albeit overtly, by simply dismissing the subsequent request. Interestingly, they also use Data Protection as a screen, which we know from the recent HT article, they have blatantly abused.
WYSIATI - unfortunately, the whole of public service is infested with Common Purpose, so no matter who you complain to, they all protect each other. The one case you refer to is just a microcosm of what is going on all over the country. It is undeniable that the council spent at least £64000 on CP training - they released receipted invoices as part of the earlier FOI. Yet now they deny it, albeit overtly, by simply dismissing the subsequent request. Interestingly, they also use Data Protection as a screen, which we know from the recent HT article, they have blatantly abused. TwoWheelsGood
  • Score: 0

4:34am Wed 10 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

GDJ, TWG - I don't know anything about common purpose or the story behind any of that - sorry.

I do hope that everyone - and I include myself and all of us in this - is trying to do things right and make things better - but I fear they are not.

The best protection against things going wrong is not more audits, more exposure, more fines and more punishment it it good people doing the right thing for the right reasons - old fashioned maybe but we can easily destroy what we claim to wish for with witch hunts.

I don't think it's a good use of my taxes to fund fishing expeditions or spurious FOI requests - in the US something like 80% of all FOI requests are from industry seeking information at public expense to benefit their private business - we're not there yet but crippling our system of public administration in the name of
accountability is not a productive end and abusing the system or the employees to score political points is not something to be proud of.

The press have a big role to play but they also have big responsibilities and seeking to sensationalise everything and sloppy reporting have no place in that and devalue the privileged position that the press enjoy.
GDJ, TWG - I don't know anything about common purpose or the story behind any of that - sorry. I do hope that everyone - and I include myself and all of us in this - is trying to do things right and make things better - but I fear they are not. The best protection against things going wrong is not more audits, more exposure, more fines and more punishment it it good people doing the right thing for the right reasons - old fashioned maybe but we can easily destroy what we claim to wish for with witch hunts. I don't think it's a good use of my taxes to fund fishing expeditions or spurious FOI requests - in the US something like 80% of all FOI requests are from industry seeking information at public expense to benefit their private business - we're not there yet but crippling our system of public administration in the name of accountability is not a productive end and abusing the system or the employees to score political points is not something to be proud of. The press have a big role to play but they also have big responsibilities and seeking to sensationalise everything and sloppy reporting have no place in that and devalue the privileged position that the press enjoy. WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

9:13am Wed 10 Jul 13

GDJ says...

WYSIATI,

Rather than dealing with the facts - the director has been known to contravene the DPA and her directorate (i.e. council tax payers) could now face a 6 figure fine for another breach, you are producing the archetypal senior management list of defences:

- people raising concerns or pointing out wrongdoing in senior management are troublemakers
- to investigate or expose this wrongdoing is a waste of public money
- to point out wrongdoing by an individual is a witch hunt (the Rebekah Brookes defence).
- people pointing out wrongdoing must be doing so for political reasons
- the senior managers must be left to get on with their jobs rather than having their (unlawful) actions scrutinised because the scrutiny takes up time.

What these have in common is to defend the wrongdoing by attacking those who seek to expose it. You always give a fair and balanced view but sometimes you have to admit the council does some indefensible things. The Common Purpose thing was to illustrate the culture. Lie, delay, deny.
WYSIATI, Rather than dealing with the facts - the director has been known to contravene the DPA and her directorate (i.e. council tax payers) could now face a 6 figure fine for another breach, you are producing the archetypal senior management list of defences: - people raising concerns or pointing out wrongdoing in senior management are troublemakers - to investigate or expose this wrongdoing is a waste of public money - to point out wrongdoing by an individual is a witch hunt (the Rebekah Brookes defence). - people pointing out wrongdoing must be doing so for political reasons - the senior managers must be left to get on with their jobs rather than having their (unlawful) actions scrutinised because the scrutiny takes up time. What these have in common is to defend the wrongdoing by attacking those who seek to expose it. You always give a fair and balanced view but sometimes you have to admit the council does some indefensible things. The Common Purpose thing was to illustrate the culture. Lie, delay, deny. GDJ
  • Score: 0

11:37am Wed 10 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

GDJ - sorry you've lost me, misunderstood me or misrepresented me.

I would never defend the indefensible, I would never endorse law breaking and I would never want to see cover ups put in place.

I simply do not have what appears to be detailed inside information on the cases you allege or appear to know about - so I am in no position to offer a view on them.

My points were much more general about trying to run organisations in the face of sustained and frequently politically motivated and one sided pressure and with half a story. It's far easier to try to undermine things than to actually run them.

I've never run anything more complicated than a bath but I have no illusions that the delivery of public services is easy. I would want to see good people, treated with respect delivering high quality services. the way the HT and the commenters approach the whole thing is hardly likely to encourage that.
GDJ - sorry you've lost me, misunderstood me or misrepresented me. I would never defend the indefensible, I would never endorse law breaking and I would never want to see cover ups put in place. I simply do not have what appears to be detailed inside information on the cases you allege or appear to know about - so I am in no position to offer a view on them. My points were much more general about trying to run organisations in the face of sustained and frequently politically motivated and one sided pressure and with half a story. It's far easier to try to undermine things than to actually run them. I've never run anything more complicated than a bath but I have no illusions that the delivery of public services is easy. I would want to see good people, treated with respect delivering high quality services. the way the HT and the commenters approach the whole thing is hardly likely to encourage that. WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Wed 10 Jul 13

GDJ says...

WYSIATI,
I agree 100% that good people doing good work should be respected - and in the case of a lot of the council's front line staff, admired as well. I apologise if I misrepresented your views.

You will not find a single HT poster that would disagree.

However the criticism from me and a lot of other posters is of highly paid managers well away from the front line who look after themselves and each other and even act unlawfully to do so. The case I know about and those referred to by Flamboyant and MakeitHappen (of which I know no details) relate to those types of people.

I actually think the front line staff are helped if the senior managers are held to account. The staff know they can't raise concerns for fearing for their jobs, the councillors don't seem to do it but maybe this kind of forum at least makes them feel uncomfortable and to think twice in future.
WYSIATI, I agree 100% that good people doing good work should be respected - and in the case of a lot of the council's front line staff, admired as well. I apologise if I misrepresented your views. You will not find a single HT poster that would disagree. However the criticism from me and a lot of other posters is of highly paid managers well away from the front line who look after themselves and each other and even act unlawfully to do so. The case I know about and those referred to by Flamboyant and MakeitHappen (of which I know no details) relate to those types of people. I actually think the front line staff are helped if the senior managers are held to account. The staff know they can't raise concerns for fearing for their jobs, the councillors don't seem to do it but maybe this kind of forum at least makes them feel uncomfortable and to think twice in future. GDJ
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Wed 10 Jul 13

WYSIATI says...

GDJ - what I can't see is that everyone on the coal face is doing a great job and everyone who is a manager is not - that cannot be true however appealing it is as a way of looking at things.

Lots has gone wrong in public service (and plenty in private industry lets be clear) but more is good about it.

I believe there is far less cronyism, laziness and corrupt goings on than there used to be and that standards and professionalism are generally much better than they used to be - but the rhetoric is all the other way.

I fear that we are undermining valuable institutions upon which we all depend and we won't like what we're left with at the end of it - which appears to be a wholesale outsourcing to the private sector which, if it goes anything like the PFI scam, will lead to higher costs, long term damage and a loss of any public service ethos - we should be careful what we wish for.
GDJ - what I can't see is that everyone on the coal face is doing a great job and everyone who is a manager is not - that cannot be true however appealing it is as a way of looking at things. Lots has gone wrong in public service (and plenty in private industry lets be clear) but more is good about it. I believe there is far less cronyism, laziness and corrupt goings on than there used to be and that standards and professionalism are generally much better than they used to be - but the rhetoric is all the other way. I fear that we are undermining valuable institutions upon which we all depend and we won't like what we're left with at the end of it - which appears to be a wholesale outsourcing to the private sector which, if it goes anything like the PFI scam, will lead to higher costs, long term damage and a loss of any public service ethos - we should be careful what we wish for. WYSIATI
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 10 Jul 13

GDJ says...

WYSIATI
You're probably right about there being less corruption than in years gone by. This is partly due to compulsory registers of interests and the impact of the FoI act.
There is still, though, wrongdoing. I have seen cronyism and unlawful actions at a high level in HCC. I don't think any of that is acceptable.
Like you, I would hate to think the education and social care services could be privatised or PFI'd - I just want honest, ethical and competent people to run those services on behalf of their communities.
WYSIATI You're probably right about there being less corruption than in years gone by. This is partly due to compulsory registers of interests and the impact of the FoI act. There is still, though, wrongdoing. I have seen cronyism and unlawful actions at a high level in HCC. I don't think any of that is acceptable. Like you, I would hate to think the education and social care services could be privatised or PFI'd - I just want honest, ethical and competent people to run those services on behalf of their communities. GDJ
  • Score: 0

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