Penn report will not be released

Published: 23 November 2017

The council has confirmed today (23 November) it cannot release the Penn report.

The independent investigative report, against named staff in the council, examined allegations of collusion following an anonymous ‘whistleblowing’ email received in August 2016.

Despite calls, by several councillors and media organisations, for the report to be made public the council today confirmed its decision not to release the document.

The council said: “The Penn report contained unproven allegations, extracts of private and confidential conversations, as well as personal information on several current and former members of staff.

“As with any such investigation, we are not prepared to compromise the privacy of individuals to whom we owe a duty of care.

“The leaks of selective parts of the report into the public domain have been made without the council’s knowledge or consent and these leaks have already caused substantial distress.

“The council has reported the leak to the Information Commissioner as a potential breach of the Data Protection Act. It is for the Information Commissioner to decide whether to prosecute those individuals in possession of the report in apparent contravention of this legislation.

“We take the protection of personal information very seriously, whether that is information about a housing tenant, a looked after child, a council tax payer, an adult social care client or confidential matters involving our staff.

“Public disclosure of any part of the report by the council or anyone else is likely to breach the Data Protection Act.

“We will immediately, again, inform the Information Commissioner if further leaks become apparent.”