§ Mr. Simon Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current position on the statement of policies governing the confidentiality and security of personal data held within the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sackville
The Registrar General for England and Wales and I attach the greatest importance to maintaining the confidentiality and security of personal data about members of the public held within the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS). A comprehensive review of how this could best be achieved was completed in 1992. A draft statement of policies was produced, and a copy was placed in the Library. The Registrar General has sought the views of a range of outside bodies before formally adopting the statement. In particular the Data Protection Registrar has commented that it serves to confirm the ongoing OPCS commitment to maintain high standards in the handling of information about individuals. The consultation process is now complete, with the statement reciving general support. The statement as adopted has been published today, and a copy placed in the Library.