James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Ex-head of civil service warns people might take legal action over Honours leak
29 December 2019, 09:53
A thorough investigation is needed and serious fines could be levied, said the former head of the civil service.
Sir Bob Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, told Andrew Castle that the Honours leak is "pretty serious and deserves to be taken very seriously. This is a significant breach."
He continued: "It was up for an hour but an hour may be long enough for people to take in the information and, of course, you can't assume that they haven't. So people will have to take action to protect their position.
"It's particularly important that the honours system is kept confidential because of the sensitive personal information that goes into that system.
"So it's done damage in those terms as well and I think it's going to need a pretty thorough investigation, not just as to how it happened but what the context is.
"Had staff been properly trained, were they aware of the serious nature of any sort of breach of this kind?"
Andrew Castle asked: "Would you expect some people to take legal action now?"
Kerslake replied: "It's possible. It's possible they will. I mean, it's deeply ironic in a way because this is a part of somebody who's had an honour, such personal pride and joy, and then to have it affected in this way is really bad. I think.
"Also, of course, they've had to enter the regulations, report this to the Information Commissioner and the commissioner can now levy pretty serious fines for breaches. So, all around it's going to be take some unravelling this one."