[BreachExchange] Parliamentary watchdog faces £3m compensation claim after blundering officials post salary details of 3,000 staff online

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue Mar 5 04:24:46 EST 2019


Expenses watchdogs at Westminster could face a £3 million compensation
bill to MPs’ staff after blundering by posting their names and salary
details online.

Sources say the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA)
will be liable for this amount if every staff member puts in a claim.

The row centres on a ‘data breach’ in 2017 when the expenses authority
published details of MPs’ employees’ names and salaries by mistake.

The Mail on Sunday has learnt that two years on, IPSA has paid seven
staff about £1,000 each for the distress caused. But with more than
3,000 people affected by the original data blunder, the final bill
could run to £3 million.

The row is particularly embarrassing for IPSA as it is embroiled in a
controversy over denying MPs’ staff the same pay rise as the
politicians themselves.

MPs were last week awarded a rise of 2.7 per cent – taking their basic
salary from £77,379 to £79,468 – but their budgets for staff pay will
increase by only 1.5 per cent. The decision has prompted fury from the
MPs’ employees.

IPSA sources suggest MPs could afford to give their staff bigger rises
as most don’t spend their full staffing budget.

They also played down fears of an overall £3 million bill for the data
breach, suggesting they would fight further compensation bids on the
grounds of distress if staff were only now submitting claims.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said: ‘If IPSA had avoided this
cock-up they could have afforded to give staff a proper pay rise.’

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