§ Mr. Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are made for individuals to check the accuracy of factual information about themselves held by the immigration service, the immigration and nationality department of the Home Office and the Metropolitan police in relation to immigration matters; what guidance he has issued on this matter; whether he proposes to take any steps to allow individuals to have greater access to such information held on automated and non-automated records; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Waddington
There are at present no formal arrangements for individuals to check the accuracy of factual information held about them by the Immigration and Nationality Department, including information held by the Immigration Service. Any request by an individual to check the accuracy of such information would be considered on its merits. It would normally be met if resources allowed and if disclosing the content of the records would not undermine the effectiveness of immigration control. The Data Protection Bill, now before Parliament, will change the situation by providing for subject access to personal data held on computer systems.
The disclosure of information from Metropolitan police records is a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. In so far as the records contain information relating to convictions, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to his question on 3 May, at columns 208–9, by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State.