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Concern at handling of sensitive personnel information

18 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler has expressed concern at the handling of sensitive and personal confidential information by the Sothern Education Library Board after it was claimed by Dominic Bradley that educational information about young people was discovered by the road side.

Mr Butler said:

"Serious questions must be asked at how sensitive information is handled and stored by all our public authorities.

"This confidential information appears to have been both highly sensitive and personal.

"I am concerned that it appears that this information was not handed to the relevant authorities without delay but was instead retained for 48 hours. It also appears that this personal and private information was then given to the media.

"This is not the way to handle confidential information. We now have a situation were confidential sensitive and personal information about vulnerable children and young people is in the public domain.

"Dominic Bradley could have highlighted the failure in the handling and storage of confidential records and still have handed the information to the relevant authorities without delay.

"The desire of a politician to bring issues to the attention of media or public does not mean that they can absolve themselves of the responsibility to deal with confidential information sensitively." ENDS

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