Mr. Robert Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the conformity of the methods of seeking information from employers used by the Child Support Agency with the Data Protection Act 1984.
§ Mr. Burt
The Data Protection Act 1984 allows an employer to disclose information provided for under other legislation. Regulations 2(2)(c) and 3(1)(d), (e), (f), (h) and (j) of the Child Support (Information, Evidence and Disclosure) Regulations 1992 require employers of either an absent parent or a parent with care to give information to the agency which will allow an absent parent to be identified and traced, and to provide information for a child support maintenance assessment to be made, collected or enforced. It is, therefore, proper for the agency to write to employers to obtain this information. I am satisfied that the agency's procedure meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act.