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Construction firms probed in blacklist scandal

More than 40 construction firms are being investigated by the information watchdog for using a secret blacklist to vet workers.
The illegal database contains personal details on 3,213 construction workers including workers' personal relationships, trade union activity, home addresses and job history. Balfour Kilpatrick and N G Bailey are among the firms that the ICO says used the list.

Some of the comments about individuals listed on the database include:

“Caused IR problems on that site (lazy and a trouble stirrer)”

“Poor time keeper will cause trouble strong TU”

'Communist Party'

“A litigious person. His C.V is sound so is employable, but if taken on by com can be difficult”

“Above orchestrated strike action. Issue was one of “British jobs for British Workers”.

One comment called an individual; a “bad egg” while another said: “do not touch!!”

Construction firms subscribed to The Consulting Association's database for a £3,000 annual fee and could add information to the system and the pay £2.20 for details held on individuals. Invoices to construction firms for up to £7,500 were seized by the ICO during a raid on February 23 of the business premises of Ian Kerr, the owner of the firm.

Ian Kerr had run the database for more than fifteen years and in doing so breached the Data Protection Act by unfairly and unlawfully processing personal information. He also failed to notify the ICO as a data controller. heatingandventilating.net was unable to track down Mr Kerr for a comment.

Deputy information commissioner, David Smith, said: 'This is a serious breach of the Data Protection Act. Kerr held information on thousands of construction workers and profited by checking names against his database. We will prosecute Mr Kerr and we are also considering what regulatory action to take against construction firms who have been using the system'.

Smith added: 'I remind business leaders that they must take their obligations under the Data Protection Act seriously. Trading people's personal details in this way is unlawful and we are determined to stamp out this type of activity.'

From March 16, the ICO will operate an enquiry system for people who believe personal information about them may be held on the database. ICO advice

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has released a list of companies that used The Consulting Association's database. The brackets indicate where companies have undergone a change of name or where subsidiaries have been absorbed by parent companies. 'Ex members' may no longer exist or no longer use the database.

Amec Building Ltd

Amec Construction Ltd

Amec Facilities Ltd

Amec Ind Div

Amec Process & Energy Ltd

Amey Construction - Ex Member

B Sunley & Sons - Ex Member

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Kilpatrick

Ballast (Wiltshire) PLc - Ex Member

Bam Construction (HBC Construction)

Bam Nuttall (Edmund Nutall Ltd)

C B & I

Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd

Costain UK Ltd

Crown House Technologies

(Carillion/Tarmac Const)

Diamond M & E Services

Dudley Bower & Co Ltd - Ex Member

Emcor (Drake & Scull) - 'Ex Ref'

Emcor Rail

G Wimpey Ltd - Ex Member

Haden Young

Kier Ltd

John Mowlem Ltd -Ex Member

Laing O'Rourk (Laing Ltd)

Lovell Construction (UK) Ltd - Ex Member

Miller Construction Limited - Ex Member

Morgan Ashurst

Morgan Est

Morrison Construction Group -Ex Member

N G Bailey

Shepherd Engineering Services

Sias Building Services

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd

Skanska (Kaverna/Trafalgar
House Plc)

SPIE (Matthew Hall) - Ex Member

Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd - Ex Member

Turriff Construction Ltd -Ex Member

Tysons Contractors - Ex Member

Walter Llewellyn & Sons Ltd - Ex Member

Whessoe Oil & Gas

Willmott Dixon - Ex Member

Vinci PLC (Norwest Holst Group)
6 March 2009

Comments

By Bobby Brown
06 March 2009 00:03:00

All those who are doing these illegal checks should be put in prison.

How can they intrude into people's private business without them knowing? For such a crime they should pay dearly.

I am blacklisted at the moment, however I am trying to clear my name with the help of my lawyer.
By Trevor Clifford
06 March 2009 00:02:00
How would one go about finding out whether their name was listed on this illegal database?
By JON
06 March 2009 00:01:00
How do I find out if my name is on the builders blacklist?
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