HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 c787W
Mr. Dhanda

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many local authorities had complaints upheld against them for the breach of rules on confidentiality in 2003–04. [167595]

Mr. Raynsford

Between 1 April 2003 and 31 March 2004 ethical standards officers of the Standards Board for England completed 52 investigations (in respect of 34 authorities) relating to allegations of failure to comply with paragraph 3(a) of the code of conduct for local authority members. This provision requires that the member must not disclose information given to him in confidence or which he believes is of a confidential nature without the consent of a person authorised to give it, or unless he is required to do so by law. Of the total number of investigations, 11 were referred for decisions on action either by the Adjudication Panel for England or the standards committee of the relevant authority. Sanctions were imposed in five of the cases, and in two cases it was decided that there was no failure to comply with the code. Decisions on the other four cases are still to be taken.