Were you blacklisted? Here’s how to find out
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which seized the files of The Consulting Association when it shut it down in 2009, is opening up to construction workers and trades unions to help shed more light on who suffered from the blacklist scandal.
If you wish to check whether information about you is held on the database you can call the ICO Helpline on 0303 123 1113 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Leave your name and number and a case officer will call you back.
Deputy commissioner David Smith said that the ICO was keen to help. “So far we’ve taken calls from 2,641 people, of which we found 218 who were listed,” he said.
“On top of that, we’ve also been working with construction trade unions to try to proactively reach more individuals whose information is included within the Consulting Association files. We have provided the names, dates of birth, locations and trades of all those individuals where information is held to the GMB, Ucatt, Unite and the RMT, which they are cross-referencing with their membership lists. GMB have positively identified more than 50 members where information is held and we are in the process of working with the union to provide that information to the individuals concerned. I expect this work with the trade unions will continue across the coming weeks.”
Mr Smith said that it was not possible to write to everyone on the blacklist because so much of the data was 20 years out of date.
“We’re close to finalising arrangements with a commercial service that can assist us with confirming some of the addresses are up-to-date, and we hope that this will be done shortly. We can then write to 200 names for an initial pilot exercise,” he said.
The GMB, which yesterday was complaining that about a lack of cooperation from the ICO with its lawyers, welcomed this ‘flexible and pragmatic approach’ from the ICO.
Leigh Day, the lawyers acting for GMB, has told the union that they and ICO have reached an agreement so that the blacklist files for GMB members can be released to them.
GMB national officer for legal and corporate affairs Maria Ludkin said: "We are very pleased that the ICO has decided to adopt a more flexible and pragmatic approach which will help ensure the GMB can effectively represent those members who have been blacklisted.
“These are people who were deprived of an honest living by these illegal tactics which blighted their families’ lives. They have been the victims of injustice over many years by multi-national companies which now seek to live off public sector contracts.”
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This article was published on 23 Jan 2013 (last updated on 25 Jan 2013).