Bryce Wilby case: Scilly council breached data laws

Bryce Wilby
Image caption Bryce Wilby denied any wrongdoing after being suspended

The Isles of Scilly Council breached data laws by sending information about an ex-headmaster to an MP, the Information Commissioner says.

Five Islands School head Bryce Wilby was suspended in May last year.

The commissioner said the council acted "unfairly" by sending three reports containing private information about Mr Wilby to Cornish MP Andrew George.

The council said it would be improper to comment while it was preparing a response to the commissioner.

Unrelated report

Mr Wilby was suspended by school governors in May 2012. He later quit his post, but denied any wrongdoing.

He complained that the council should not have sent three reports to Mr George because they contained private information the MP should not have seen, and the MP had not requested them.

The Information Commissioner ruled the reports containing Mr Wilby's personal data were "disclosed by the council to Andrew George MP unfairly".

The commissioner said the unitary council had breached the Data Protection Act because the disclosures were "excessive", noting that one report was unrelated to his suspension.

The commissioner added he was told by the council that the documents were sent to the MP to provide an overview, but said it was "probable that a summary or statement could have been provided to the MP, rather than disclosing information that was either confidential or irrelevant".

The commissioner noted Mr George later destroyed the reports.

Mr Wilby and his family are working on bringing a number of cases against individuals and different bodies on the islands in connection with his suspension and leaving.

He said he was happy to have a report "upholding some of our complaints".

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