The Daily Telegraph have used the Freedom of Information Act to reveal that Surrey County Council, one of the local authorities currently testing the ContactPoint database, have found it unsafe, unwieldy and unfit for purpose.
ContactPoint is the government's £224 million plan to database every child under the age of 18, their parents, teachers and doctors. It has run into trouble before, but the latest documents are even more damning.
As the Telegraph report:
A series of internal documents and emails from Surrey County Council show, for the first time, the concern that has been privately expressed by officials about the database.
One official, whose details were blacked out, reported to a supervisor: “It has been a frustrating time recently which recently culminated in a breach of the system.
“The system they are accessing is not stable, it took 15 minutes for John to get into it this morning.
“The process is not user friendly. Data is an issue locally, a lot of it doesn’t match up, especially addresses. There are also issues around what needs recording for each agency to get consistency.”
The breach was one of five the system, a single register where children’s contact details can be stored, has experienced before its official launch.
Massively expensive and cumbersome, the ContactPoint database was a bad idea from the start and with every document released from those trialing the system, the foolishness of this database is further revealed.
But the biggest concern is the security of the data. In 2008, Deloitte concluded that ContactPoint could never be completely secure. These latest breaches confirm that 2 year-old judgement.
By Dylan Sharpe