Former senior UK council officer fined for doing dodgy data dealing to help his girlfriend

Kevin Bunsell passed info on rival candidates in job hunt

A former senior officer for Nuneaton and Bedworth District Council has been fined for sharing data on rival candidates for a council admin job with his partner.

Kevin Bunsell was head of building control for the Warwickshire borough when his other half applied for the role, and was not involved in the interviewing and selection process due to a potential conflict of interest.

That didn't stop him jumping onto the council's recruitment system and emailing the deets of nine shortlisted applicants to his own work email and his partner's Hotmail account. This included the name, address, telephone number, CV and two references for each jobseeker.

Once Bunsell's game was discovered, he resigned and his partner, who had got the job, also had her employment terminated on the "basis of an invalid recruitment process", the Information Commissioner's Office, which brought the prosecution, said.

Bunsell, 60, of Pembroke Close, Bedworth, pleaded guilty to unlawfully sharing data under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 at Nuneaton Magistrates Court.

He was penalised to the tune of £660 and additionally ordered to cough £713.75 costs and a victim surcharge of £66.

The ICO's director of investigations, Steve Eckersley, said: "People who supply their personal information to an organisation in good faith, such as when applying for a job, have a right to expect it will be treated lawfully and ethically.

"Not respecting people's legal right to privacy can have serious consequences, as this case demonstrates. Not only might you face a prosecution and fine, along with the attendant publicity, but you may also lose your job and severely damage your future career prospects."

According to his LinkedIn account, Bunsell started his role as head of building control with the council in October 2007 and hasn't updated the site with whatever he is doing these days. ®

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