Council probe over missing files

04:12, Aug 08 2014
city council documents
THE ROOM: Documents containing personal information have been blowing around Christchurch streets from this unsecured room atop the Lichfield St parking building.

The Christchurch City Council is working to identify how many of the 50,000 files it had stored in a Lichfield St car park building are missing.

Hundreds of documents containing residents' personal information were discovered around the Re:Start mall last week after a locked room in the council-owned, quake-damaged car park was broken into.

Most of the documents were old parking infringement notices but some had personal medical information and bankruptcy details attached to them.

city council documents
PRIVACY BREACH: Documents containing personal information is blowing around Christchurch streets from an unsecured room atop the Lichfield St parking building.

The council has laid a complaint with police about the break-in and has contacted the Privacy Commissioner for advice on how to best handle the situation.

Council chief executive Dr Karleen Edwards said around 700 files had been handed into council since the incident.

"Approximately 50,000 files were stored in this secured room and the remaining files located in the Lichfield St car park have been removed and we are undergoing a review of the documents we hold, and those handed to the council, to identify any gaps in information or documents hold,'' Edwards said in a briefing paper to councillors.

"Following this review we will be destroying those documents we no longer are legally required to hold as public records.''

Edwards said unfortunately footage from crime cameras in and around the Lichfield St building was unlikely to help police identify those responsible for the break-in.


The Press