Council’s Corporate Retention Schedule is just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and none of this blah means anything, or if it does, it contradicts any other blah, blah, blah, blah, blah Folkestone & Hythe District Council has informed its residents, via its Corporate Retention Schedule.

The Council’s Corporate Retention Schedules lists the types of records or information they hold, what they use it for, and how long they intend to keep it. This helps them establish and document standard retention periods for different categories of personal data.

Here is a bit of blah, blah, blah published on the Council planning page under comments

The Council publishes planning comments in accordance with its obligations under the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK-GDPR)… Comments submitted for a planning application will be retained for a period of 3 years...

Now the council state in their Corporate Retention Schedule Tab 11, ref 11.07 that all comments made on the planning portal must be destroyed after six months. These two statements obviously contradict one another. This shows the council fail to undertake any sanity checking regarding the data/information they publish, so most of what they do say is just blah, blah, blah… as somewhere else they say something which contradicts it.

At Tab 2, Ref 2.16 and 2.18 makes it clear the Council must destroy all FoI, EiR and RSPI files after 3 years. However, it’s known the council have used FoI requests as evidence to the ICO going back eight years. This is a clear data breach and an abuse of the person/s data rights.  Not forgetting the council knowingly mislead the ICO with the information they supplied.

Tab 2 Ref 2.08 makes it clear they must destroy all audit partnership reports, yet to this day one can still find audit partnership reports which are six, seven and eight years old on the council’s website

Report Number AuS/12/21

Report number AuS/13/24

Report number AuS/14/23

The Cabinet member for Information is Cllr Ray Field. He received £16,833 in allowances in 202/21. Ray doesn’t give a damn about corporate retention schedule as is clear, nor does Dr Susan Priest, Chief Exec and Head of Paid Service of Folkestone & Hythe District Council who was paid £143,000 in 2019/20. Remember a lot of this data they hold is about you and they’re not destroying when they should. That’s naughty, very very naughty.

Neither are they ensuring the person/s responsible for destroying the information are doing their job. That’s poor management and perhaps that’s why KCC did not want Dr Priest in their midst.

There are many more incidents of data breaches of the Corporate Retention Schedule we could highlight, but once is a mistake, twice is a pattern three times is a habit, and this council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council has got into a lot of bad habits under the leadership of Dr Susan Priest.

It’s clear whoever the Council employ to ensure the destruction of data according to the timings in the Corporate Retention Schedule needs either further training – we suggest the Information Rights Law and Practice Postgraduate Certificate  which can be done in a year and by distance learning – or they need to do the job they are paid to do, and do it better than they do at present.

No doubt they’ll be a lot of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah behind closed doors at the Council. Lets hope the blah, blah blah translates into people doing their job and destroying data in accordance with the Council’s corporate retention schedule.

Let’s hope the council will self report to the ICO for a good number of data breaches, as they’ve failed to destroy the data they hold in accordance with their own policy. Don’t hold your breath.

Further reading – records management and retention schedules

Best practice in records management and transfer, and information re-use

Disposing of records

FOI Records Management Code – Guide 8: Disposal of records

The Shepway Vox Team

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1 Comment on Council’s Corporate Retention Schedule is just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

  1. As a resident that pays the highest council tax in Kent I feel cheated that the standards of competence is so low.

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