Data protection and reports
The following is an extract from an SCR completed in September 2013 and may be useful in considering the report structure and content.
'This document contains the conclusions and recommendations of the Significant Case Review relating to D. In the interests of transparency, every effort has been made to disclose as much of the SCR as is lawfully possible. The only editing prior to disclosure is the redaction of personal data, disclosure of which cannot be justified under the Data Protection Act 1998 ('the DPA'). Although there has been a criminal trial and extensive media coverage of this case, and a significant amount of both personal data and sensitive personal data is, as a result of this, publicly available, disclosure of the personal data contained in this report must still comply with the DPA. This means that even though some of the redacted information may already be publicly available, or it may be considered to be in the public interest to disclose, it cannot automatically be disclosed, as the DPA contains certain conditions which must first be met. The process of redacting the SCR has involved careful consideration of:
- The need for transparency and the overall purpose of the SCR in the identification of any lessons learned.
- The public interest in disclosure.
Considering whether information is sensitive personal data, (for example, because it is information about a person's physical or mental health or condition, his/her sexual life, or the commission or alleged commission of an offence) and whether its inclusion in the SCR complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Balancing interests in terms of the right to respect for private and family life in terms of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, meaning that any information contained in the report relating to D himself and other people whose history was closely linked to D can only be released if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.
Following this, and on taking specialist legal advice, the review panel concluded that in the unique circumstances of this case, it would not be appropriate to release the main body of the report. The narrative of the report could not be redacted so as to remove all information carrying an identification risk or the possibility of causing harm to third parties, and it was felt that removing all such information would lead to the report being at best meaningless and at worst misleading.
The conclusions and recommendations have been included but with certain text (generally containing biographical details) redacted for the reasons set out above. Any redactions are clearly marked with the word '[Redacted]'. Some minor grammatical changes have been made (unflagged) to maintain consistency of language following some redactions.