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Data supremo sacked after leaks to Press

By Rebecca Black

The man in charge of the protection of personal data relating to people in Northern Ireland has been sacked for allegedly leaking information to the media.

Aubrey McCrory had been working as the Assistant Information Commissioner since June 2008. He was suspended last July while an internal investigation was launched into allegations concerning his conduct at work.

The Information Commission has claimed that during that time he leaked confidential information to the Press.

He was suspended on full pay, which was potentially as much as £58,650, until the decision to dismiss him yesterday.

As Assistant Commissioner in the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in Northern Ireland, he led the team dealing with Freedom of Information and data protection-related issues in Ulster.

A commission spokesman said Mr McCrory had breached confidentiality, but said there would be no police probe into this claim because the information leaked only concerned Mr McCrory.

“Following allegations about Aubrey McCrory’s conduct at work, he was suspended last year pending an internal investigation,” a spokesman said.

“During the course of the investigation it came to our attention that confidential information relating to the investigation had appeared in the Press. The ICO investigated this matter and concluded that Aubrey McCrory had breached confidentiality.

“We consider this to be gross misconduct and therefore Aubrey McCrory has been dismissed from his position as Assistant Commissioner Northern Ireland with immediate effect.”

Mr McCrory was appointed as Assistant Commissioner for the ICO in Northern Ireland in June 2008 after working in improvement and regulatory roles covering central and local government, and private sector consultancy.

Previously, he was a deputy director in the Equality Commission’s policy and development division with specific responsibility for statutory equality duties.

The ICO promotes public access to official information and protects personal information.

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