William Eichler 28 February 2019

Council officer fined nearly £700 for data breach

Council officer fined nearly £700 for data breach image

A former council officer has been fined hundreds of pounds after he emailed confidential information to his partner to help her in a job interview.

Kevin Bunsell, 60, was employed by Nuneaton and Bedworth District Council as its Head of Building Control when his partner applied for an administrative job at the council in July 2017.

While in that role, and despite having been trained in data protection law, Mr Bunsell accessed the authority’s recruitment system and emailed the personal information of the nine rival shortlisted candidates to his own work email and also his partner’s Hotmail account.

The recruitment packs he shared included the name, address, telephone number and CV of each candidate, along with contact details for each of their two referees.

Once the data breach had been discovered, Bunsell resigned. His partner, who had been recruited by the council, was dismissed on the grounds that she had been appointed on the basis of an invalid recruitment process.

Mr Bunsell admitted a charge of unlawfully sharing data in breach of s55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 when he appeared at Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court.

He was fined £660 and was also ordered to pay £713.75 costs and a victim surcharge of £66.

‘People who supply their personal information to an organisation in good faith, such as when applying for a job, have a legal right to expect it will be treated lawfully and ethically,’ commented Steve Eckersley, director of investigations at the Information Commissioner’s Office, which brought the prosecution.

‘Not respecting people’s legal right to privacy can have serious consequences, as this case demonstrates.

‘Not only might you face a prosecution and fine, along with the attendant publicity, but you may also lose your job and severely damage your future career prospects.’

Highways jobs

Civil Enforcement Officer

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - Starting at £20,415 per annum and rising to £21,777
This role will require you to assist with the safe and free flow of traffic by patrolling on foot and / or mobile controlled parking areas and issu... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Administrative Support Officer - Conservative Group

Brent Council
£29,241 - £30,711 (pro rata)
This post will provide efficient, effective and flexible support to members of the Conservative Opposition Group... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Chair

Cornwall Investment Delivery Company
Remuneration commensurate with the challenge
We are looking for a Chair to establish the new company, oversee the development of its strategy. Truro, Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Investment Delivery Company

Managing Director

Cornwall Investment Delivery Company
Remuneration commensurate with the challenge
Looking for someone with a strong development background, real commercial credentials. Truro, Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Investment Delivery Company

Non-Executive Directors

Cornwall Investment Delivery Company
Remuneration commensurate with the challenge
Looking for Non-Executive Directors who will bring their commercial experience and skills to this new company’s dynamic. Truro, Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Investment Delivery Company

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

Register for your free magazine