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ICO Seeks NHS Audit Powers, Submits Request to MoJ

Information Commissioner's Office - the UK's data protection authority has appealed to the Ministry of Justice for allowing it to execute mandatory audits of the NHS as well as that of local government, according to a new report.

The data watchdog made the appeal to the MoJ in an official request sent on the 22 November, which was later confirmed by an ICO spokeswoman to ZDNet UK.

The move by ICO seems to be an outcome of a series of data breaches suffered by the NHS in the current year, including the one where a laptop containing sensitive details of millions of patients was lost by the organisation in a rather careless manner.

ICO spokeswoman further revealed to ZDNet UK that the data watchdog is currently in the process of forming a business case which will allow it audit powers for even the private sector.

"In the two areas where the Information Commissioner would like to be able to use the assessment notice power - the NHS and local government - there are particularly significant and widespread data protection compliance concerns," the business case stated, according to the ZDNet UK report.