§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the areas for which the Government intend to apply an exemption to the right of access to personal data, as defined in the Data Protection Bill 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Spellar
Since the Ministry of Defence is a large organisation which holds many different types of records on individuals, a number of the exemptions contained in the Bill will apply from time to time. One of the exemptions, the Combat Effectiveness exemption contained in Schedule 7 part 2, applies exclusively to the Armed Forces. This exemption is unlikely to be widely employed. The MOD also intend to apply the exemption in Section 27 of the Bill, which has as its purpose the safeguarding of national security. We anticipate that most Service personnel will have access to much of the information we hold about them, providing it is held on a relevant filing system as defined in the Bill, and provided that granting access does not compromise the rights of third parties.