Secret documents stolen as Milton Keynes councillor played golf

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Milton Keynes Council could face a penalty of up to £500,000 after secret papers were stolen from a councillor’s car.

Tory Andrew Buckley, who works as a solicitor, left the confidential documents in a bag in his car while he played a five hour game of golf.

He returned to find his car broken into and the leather bag missing.

The papers concerned taxi licensing and contained personal details, including DRB checks, of would-be cabbies.

The breach of security had to be reported to the national Information Commissioner’s Office, which has the power to impose a half a million pound fine on the council.

It is understood the commissioner has already criticised the council for using paper documents rather than digital.

He has also ordered that more councillors attend training sessions about how to protect confidential data.

Mr Buckley, who is ward councillor for Monkston, told the Citizen: “It is awful and I feel absolutely dreadful.”

He said he had attended the licensing panel meeting the previous evening, put the papers in a leather bag in his car, and forgotten to remove it before playing golf the following morning.

“The car was locked, of course, and there is no doubt that I was a victim of a crime.”

“It was wrong of me, but it was not as though I left it on a train or in a pub.”

Though most of Milton Keynes Council’s paperwork is in the public domain, the stolen documents were known as ‘red papers’.

Papers are marked ‘red’ when they contain people’s or company’s personal or financial details.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent authority set up to uphold data privacy for individuals. It also promotes information rights in the public interest and openness by public bodies.