On Thursday 30th March, the watchdog agency accidently leaked personal data of 3,000 MP’s staff and salaries. The independent parliamentary standards authority claimed that the data consisted of the names, working/holiday schedules of each staff affected and luckily more sensitive personal information such as: phone numbers, addresses and bank account details were kept safe and not leaked. The IPSA also said the “extremely sensitive” information of staff working for 650 of Parliaments MP’s, was only left on the old website for approximately four hours. Watchdog had announced that they took down the information within an hour of being alerted by Karl McCartney (conservative MP) and apologised just after an enquiry was launched, classing the incident as ‘serious’, as they are unsure how it occurred. They also established that they would not publish details of MP’s travel plans due to the incident that occurred at Westminster, the previous week. The death of PC Keith Palmer has encouraged police to strengthen their security, especially through preventing any threats of cyber-attacks. At the current moment it is unclear who was behind the leakage or if a group had worked together to obtain the data, but all will be revealed after the investigation.
Marcial Boo, who is the chief executive of watchdog, sent a personal email to each MP proclaiming that, “some documents were published in error”. Further on he elaborated that; “These should not have been made public as they contained confidential personal information about MP’s staff names, salaries, rewards, working patterns and holiday entitlements”. Also adding; “"We take information security very seriously and the safety and security of MPs and their staff is a priority. An investigation is currently underway and we have notified the Information Commissioner”…"We will be writing directly to all of those affected”. It is yet unclear whether the MP’s affected have forgiven the accident.
After the data had been released, certain MP’s believed it was “hugely embarrassing”, due to the fact certain employers were employing their wives and children, paying them for work which was not even undertaken. In fact, Francois Fillion who is the French presidential candidate was under investigations after allegedly paying his family thousands of euros for work which was simply not done. It is believed that approximately a ¼ of MP’s employ a “connected party”, robbing £3.6 million from taxpayers. Mr McCartney remarked that the perpetrator “really needs some IT training before their next job”, as for instance one MP was classified as ‘100% disabled’.