Norwood will not appeal against fine over loss of sensitive documents

Elaine Kerr, chief executive of the social care charity, said the fine was disproportionate, but the charity has paid it

Elaine Kerr
Elaine Kerr

The social care charity Norwood has paid the £70,000 fine it was given for losing sensitive documents relating to children, and has shelved any plans to appeal.

The Information Commissioner’s Office imposed the sanction after a social worker for the charity left sensitive documents, thought to contain details of abuse and neglect suffered by four children, at the side of a house in London after attempting to deliver them to the children’s prospective adoptive parents.

The documents were taken before the occupants returned and have never been recovered.

Norwood confirmed on Monday that it paid £56,000 on 8 November to take advantage of a 20 per cent early payment discount.

After Third Sector’s first report on the case, Elaine Kerr, chief executive of the charity, wrote a letter to the magazine saying she felt that Norwood had been harshly treated by the commissioner.

"It is clear that the fine of £70,000 is disproportionate and we have reserved our right to appeal the amount on these grounds," Kerr wrote.

Kerr also disputed the commissioner’s view that the data breach was the result of inadequate training at the charity.

"It was an obvious lapse in judgement by one individual employed by Norwood and appropriate action has been taken against the member of staff concerned," the letter said.

Third Sector asked Norwood why it had decided not to appeal, what happened to the member of staff involved and whether the charity still regarded the commissioner's fine as disproportionate. Charles Golding, director of communications, declined to comment.

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