HC Deb 07 November 1979 vol 973 c224W
Mr. Cryer

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department's offices make available information from social security files either to police or any other agencies; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Prentice

Information in social social security files which concerns individuals is held in strict confidence and is not normally disclosed to third parties without the consent of the persons concerned. An exception can, however, be made where departmental or public interest requires disclosures within Government or to another public body: the principal examples are disclosure to the police so as to assist in the prosecution of cases, other than trivial crime, and to other bodies so as to prevent duplication of payments from public funds, or to meet statutory or welfare requirements.