ABERDEEN City Council today ordered an urgent investigation after “extremely sensitive” child welfare documents were found at a council dump in Dundee, almost 70 miles from the Granite City.
• Confidential child welfare documents belonging to Aberdeen City Council have been found in a skip in Dundee, it is understood
• Documents include home addresses and medical details of social work service users and other personal information
• Investigation ordered into claim amid concerns over data protection breach
The confidential social work documents are understood to have been discovered dumped in a skip at the Dundee refuse site.
The documents are said to include the home addresses and medical details of social work service users and information about the health and care of children.
The city council called for the inquiry after Kevin Stewart, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, revealed details of the discovery.
He said: “I have written to the council to establish whether it is true that social work records have been found in a skip in Dundee, and if it is the case I have called for an investigation into how this happened.”
Mr Stewart added: “Any breach of data protection is a serious matter, but social work records are often extremely sensitive and it would be extremely worrying if this allegation turns out to be true.”
He said that if the records contained sensitive information, then the discovery of the documents would constitute a “huge breach of the Data Protection Act.”
Mr Stewart added: “I hope that we can get to the bottom of this. If this indeed is true then this is extremely serious indeed.”
A spokesman for Aberdeen City Council said: “Aberdeen City Council takes any breach of confidentiality very seriously and we are investigating this matter. “
Councillor Barney Crockett, the leader of the city council, said: “Confidentiality in these matters is of the utmost importance to the council. Any breach of this is a serious matter and a huge concern to us. If any items are missing this will be treated as top priority and a full investigation carried out.”
Mr Stewart said this afternoon: “It is now alleged that the documents found in Dundee are records pertaining to child protection hearings and if that is the case then this is extremely worrying.
“Obviously these allegations will be of great concern to families who have had involvement with social work and I hope that the council will do everything possible to protect those folk that may have been mentioned in these documents and will act swiftly to find out what has gone wrong here.”
He added: “I have asked the council leader if this situation requires Police involvement rather than just an internal council investigation as if reports are true this is an unbelievable breach of data protection.”