ICO: Given that managers are ‘well paid because they are responsible’ shouldn’t they pay the ICO fine and not council tax payers? - The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last week served Ealing Council (£80k) and Hounslow Council (£70k) with monetary penalties for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act after the loss of 2 unencrypted laptops containing sensitive personal information.
Both laptops were password protected (but unencrypted) – despite this being in breach of both councils’ policies:
* Ealing Council breached the Data Protection Act by issuing an unencrypted laptop to a member of staff in breach of its own policies. This method of working has been in place for several years and there were insufficient checks that relevant policies were being followed or understood by staff
* Hounslow Council breached the Act by failing to have a written contract in place with Ealing Council. Hounslow also did not monitor Ealing Council’s procedures for operating the service securely
Deputy Commissioner, David Smith, said: “Of the four monetary penalties that we have served so far, three concern the loss of unencrypted laptops. Where personal information is involved, password protection for portable devices is simply not enough. “The penalty against Hounslow Council also makes clear that an organisation can’t simply hand over the handling of the personal information it is responsible for to somebody else unless they ensure that the information is properly protected”.
DfE: Barbie & Ken are being replaced by the real thing - Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union, is carrying out an independent review to address parents’ concerns about the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.
Last week he launched a call for evidence to hear the views of parents, industry and anyone who works with children & young people (or has an interest in this area). The call for evidence will run until 18 March 2011 and Mr Bailey will report back to Government by May 2011.
ScotGov: Could this Celtic Tiger avoid the economic woes of Ireland & Iceland? - The Scottish Government last week submitted detailed evidence supporting the case for Full Financial Responsibility to the Scotland Bill Committee at the Scottish Parliament.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "The Scottish Government believes that Scotland's interests would be best served by independence. Until agreement is reached on independence, the Scottish Government is committed to making the case for Full Financial Responsibility……..
"The paper we have sent to committee today ….. would provide the maximum degree of policy autonomy within a UK macroeconomic framework and significantly increase the accountability of the Scottish Parliament”.
MoD: And he won’t even get to see the view from the top as a reward! - A heroic soldier awarded the George Medal for bravery in Afghanistan protecting colleagues from Taliban IEDs, which resulted in him being blinded, is to climb the world's tallest free-standing mountain for charity.
Rifleman Paul Jacobs, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, suffered severe injuries from an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Upper Sangin Valley in 2009. His medal citation, last March, praised his 'faultless courage, selflessness and dedication to his unit'.
Rifleman Jacobs has been given support in his battle to overcome the challenges imposed by his injuries by St Dunstan's, a charity that helps blind & partially-sighted ex-servicemen & women live independently.
To sponsor Rifleman Jacobs, you can visit his 'Just Giving' website page or make cheques payable to St Dunstan's and post them to St Dunstan's, Fundraising Dept, 12-14 Harcourt Street, London W1H 4HD, stating that the payment is for Rifleman Paul Jacobs' Mount Kilimanjaro challenge.
DWP: It could be the best savings deal around at the moment for some - Around 70,000 people, mainly women, have 2 months left to boost their basic State Pension and get backdated payments.
People who have reached, or will reach, State Pension age between April 2008 and April 2011 and don’t get a full basic State Pension, could increase their payment and get it backdated, if they buy back National Insurance contributions in the next two months.
ASI: Not all about protecting access to beauty spots - The Adam Smith Institute’s latest report argues that 92% of the Forestry Commission’s land could be privatised without endangering valuable broadleaf forests. 92% of the Commission’s land is coniferous or non-wooded, including farmland, and could be sold to raise up to £4.3bn without any impact on the broadleaf woodland most valued for public use.
These broadleaf forests, valued for their heritage and amenity, only make up 8% of the Forestry Commission’s land, and are generally not up for sale. The vast majority of the Commission’s woodlands are coniferous, with no bio-diversity, little variety of fauna and scant public amenity, says the report.
Forthcoming Event: Linking Bio-Based Materials to Renewable Energy Production - 1 March 2011, The Geological Society, London - Less than two weeks to go. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to contribute to the discussion. This one day conference brings together experts in the field of measuring bio-based content to untangle this complex subject.
- Hear from leading speakers in the field of measuring bio-based content, including Chairman of the European Bioplastics Association Andy Sweetman from Innovia Films, Chris Manson-Whitton from Progressive Energy and Ben Sheridan from the British Standards Institute
- Your opportunity to add to the discussion and become more familiar with bio-based content before the new standards become law
- Learn how bio-based content can be measured and used to market consumer products through labelling
- Find out how bio-based content may be the basis of certification schemes for future renewable energy production
Attendees will include regulators and those working in the areas of waste, plastics, composites, fuel and energy.
info rmation and to register please click here.
Public Sector Channel Shift – Webinar, SOCITM London Download, Local Govt Case Studies - Meeting customer needs is a challenge. We are all called to transform delivery and reduce cost. Demographics and customer attitudes means a single solution seldom fits all. It’s clear that self-service drives down the costs when successfully integrated end-to-end within an organisation’s processes and resolves the query at the first point of contact.
If delivering savings while maintaining service is a challenge you face, we invite you to download a recent SOCITM London presentation and read the success stories of some innovative public sector organisations that are shifting customer demand to more affordable channels and delivering cashable savings with rapid payback and significant cost reductions.
Click here to access the downloads and tune in to our Webinar on 1st March.