Bournemouth opposition councillor accused of security breach referred to Standards Committee (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Bournemouth opposition councillor accused of security breach referred to Standards Committee
AN opposition councillor accused of breaching the Data Protection Act has now been referred to the Standards Committee.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Roger West will continue to be without email and internet access while his conduct is investigated further.
At a meeting of Bournemouth’s Audit and Governance Committee, councillors gave their backing to the officer who suspended Cllr West’s internet access, saying the action was “appropriate and necessary”.
The council claims Cllr West committed two information security breaches – one by forwarding on a confidential internal email sent to all councillors about a member of the public who had been deemed a “vexatious complainant” and one when he circulated personnel information of a confidential nature relating to two senior managers.
Cllr West did not make any comment at the meeting but circulated a 12-page statement that was considered without the press and public present.
He told the Echo he wanted get his internet and email access reinstated. “This is depriving me of being an efficient, challenging councillor,” he said.
“It’s hindering not only my ward work as a ward councillors but also as a spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, who represent a very large amount of people in the town. Many people think that this is a personal thing because I am the only councillor aggressively challenging this present administration.”
The Audit and Governance committee also considered a breach made by a council officer, who inadvertently released 673 private email addresses.
They were told the Information Commissioner was satisfied the council had taken the appropriate action to correct this mistake.
Tanya Coulter, legal and democratic service director, said: “In the matter of the two breaches involving Councillor West, the committee acknowledged that the action taken by the SIRO (Senior Information Risk Officer) was appropriate and necessary, and in light of the serious risks caused to the council as a result of the breaches the committee referred the matter to the Standards Committee for it to consider and take such action as it may deem to be appropriate.”
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