View Full Version : Can we continue to trust the UK public services with our Data?

6th Dec 2007, 20:38
Can we continue to trust Government/Public services with our Data?


I think with this and the Inland revenue we are just scraping the tip of the iceberg! Should these departments face litigation or offer compensation for lack of care and negligence when handling private information?

6th Dec 2007, 21:18
"Continue to trust" ?
Some of us have never done so!
The incompetence of public administration hasn't changed - the consequences have simply been magnified by technology.

6th Dec 2007, 21:20

Good point! I guess i used the word continue to imply what the hell do we do from now on?

6th Dec 2007, 21:55
Anyone who fears they may have received the wrong details from the DVLA should call them on 0800 085 2333.

Excuse me - they are asking folk who have received someone else's private personal details to elect to report themselves? Can't they tell which set of information was sent to which address?

(Obviously not . . . )

7th Dec 2007, 00:54
NO we cannot trust the UK public/govt services with our data.... but we have no choice because if we require the benefits/services provided by such agencies then we need comply.

As many of you know I experienced a bad reaction to a general anaesthetic nearly two years ago which resulted some months subsequently in a diagnosis of "parkinsonism/parkinson's disease"... one of those sh*t happens situations that I pray never happens to anyone else. As a result of this I am unable to return to work and life is pretty much at a standstill by comparison with my former existence. I have, accordingly, applied for some of the "benefits" applicable to the disabled (having browsed the internet and found I am eligible to do so!!)...in all applications, like all tax returns over the past decades, I have been scrupulously honest. I have, as a result, been granted some small "benefits". I remain technically employed by my last employer, a German bank, and am paid a fraction of my former salary under a Permanent Health Insurance/disability scheme hence I am not available to seek employment elsewhere (even if I were able to do so)!!!

Three weeks ago I was summoned to appear before a Compliance Officer of the Department of Work and Pensions.. I am tremory and krap these days but... an appearance was demanded and failure to appear would result in "benefits being terminated". So.. I duly appeared. Shaky,.. slow... stiff... totally krap compared with my former fab self. I was met with a "the Inland Revenue has informed us that...." accusation and when I countered with "well that is what I put on my last Tax Return" was met with a stunned silence. Then... "we have no records of XXX" .. and I said "well you should have as here is a copy of the form on which it is detailed".... and finally an "oh... it does appear to be listed... we didn't know that this acronym (person didn't use word acronym) represented this"... no apology... no acknowledgement that my personal record-keeping contributed to the satisfactory conclusion of the encounter at all! I was, due to lack of mobility, permitted to use the staff lift to exit the building as the public one was out of order....

This was my first ever encounter with the DWP... I have worked all my life after university, paid taxes, not acquired a criminal record... and until the parky bo11ox struck in March 2006 intended to continue doing the same.

I was appalled by the poor record-keeping and even more appalled by the chav-types working in this organisation who, while I was waiting to be seen, were spending their alleged working hours chatting about boyfriends, haircuts, music, booking holidays and really not working at all!!! I really wish I had been wired up with a secret camera... it would have made an excellent expose!!!

So NO..we CANNOT trust the system with our data...but what is the alternative?

Foxy Loxy
7th Dec 2007, 00:59
Brockie, I can't agree more.

My sister is one of those affected by the F*** up. She had her letter last week. It was sent to our parents' address, not her own. Just as well our parents haven't moved house in that time! Who knows otherwise!?


7th Dec 2007, 01:35
Yeah Brockie, the DWP keep checking up on our daughter like that - just to make sure that there hasn't been a miracle and she's been granted the gift of perfect vision. :ugh:

Windy Militant
7th Dec 2007, 11:11
Don't forget that a very high proportion of the people employed in these posts are temps. The department I work for has suffered from this for years. It looks better on the annual returns to show reductions in outgoings by cutting the staff budget and hiring in temps. It actually costs more by the time you add in the agency fees, but as that goes into a different budget it makes it look as if you're saving money. There is a high turnover of staff because of the poor money and lack of any hope of progression. Every few months you have a new tyro to train, this is usually done by the outgoing incumbent who is usually fairly demoralised by this time. So standards continue to plummet as time goes by, until there's a monumental c*ckup which causes a reshuffle which brings things back up to scratch for a while. Then the beancounters have a review and it's back to square one again. :ugh:

7th Dec 2007, 11:28
Historically, too, the Civil Service offered job security, somewhat lower pay than industry, and a good pension. If you remove the job security and the pension and keep the lower pay, you won't keep the best people - and those you do keep are likely to get very demoralised.
Successive governments seem to have gone out of their way to demoralise the armed forces, police, nurses and civil servants. They enter pay negototians and then renege. MPs keep their good pensions, though.....

7th Dec 2007, 11:42
My wife works for the DWP. They work flat out every day and still can't keep up with the work. They are paid a pittance to do it (which is why they are on strike at the moment). Some of my wife's staff are on such a low wage that they have to have it topped up with Tax Credits to make ends meet.

To be honest, when you are paying that sort of money, you are hardly likely to attract the best so its not really surprising that mistakes are made. When they make mistakes it either costs the taxpayer or those on benefit. Unfortunately it happens far too regularly.

I've told my wife to leave on many occasions because she could double her salary, but she stays because the holidays and flexable working allow her to cater for the children and their schooling a lot better that a commercial company would allow.

The reason they are on stike BTW is that they have been offered a 2% rise over 3 years. Due to inflation they are in effect getting a pay cut. That sort of offer is hardly likely to attract the sort of people they need to improve services.