In among the documentation for the June 17th Cabinet meeting at Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) is an agenda item about proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution. SBC wants to tighten up access to confidential reports by elected members by way of making changes to the Council’s Constitution. Any changes to the Council’s Constitution need to be ratified at a full Council meeting.
In that documentation, SBC state that the Council has sacked an Officer, thought to be from the planning department, for leaking confidential information to an unauthorised third party.
“Unfortunately, it became evident that Confidential Reports were occasionally being disclosed to unauthorised third parties. In one case, the identification of the source of the “leak” as an officer of the Council led to the termination of that officer’s employment.”
“In November 2013, a further unauthorised disclosure of confidential legal information which could have jeopardised the Council’s position in relation to commercial legal proceedings, led to an immediate review of the access provided to Confidential Reports.”
The procedures for elected members to access confidential information make for interesting reading. The lengthy process has been obviously designed so that the SBC can individually electronically watermark documents. It is not for nothing that the Town Hall on St. Nicholas Street is known as ‘The House of Secrets’.
To most people, George Orwell’s 1984 was a warning, to SBC, it is an instruction manual!