back to article Former senior UK council officer fined for doing dodgy data dealing to help his girlfriend

A former senior officer for Nuneaton and Bedworth District Council has been fined for sharing data on rival candidates for a council admin job with his partner. Kevin Bunsell was head of building control for the Warwickshire borough when his other half applied for the role, and was not involved in the interviewing and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Berk

    I find it rather worrying that somebody stupid enough and dishonest enough to do this would be employed as head of building control.

    At least the ICO have nailed him through the courts, so he's now the proud owner of a criminal record, although as a public sector employee I wouldn't be surprised if he was allowed to go on "early retirement" grounds, and he won't be planning to work again anyway.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Berk

      In my experience, having worked for and with a local council in a couple of roles, there are plenty of other berks in similarly high positions who make this bloke look like a genius.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Berk

      was allowed to go on "early retirement" grounds

      In which case he won't get his ful pension..

      (If he's on the same Government scheme as me anyway..)

      1. Dabooka

        Re: Berk

        My experience of a sizeable county council would echo the sentiments above. Stupidity on this scale is predominant.

        I also don't really know what they aimed to achieve with such a stunt. It's not as if it was a tendering process that was under way, what edge could knowing other's CVs really offer them?

        Idiots. And I too doubt he got a 'full' pension, although I could still imagine him taking early retirement. Probably a consultant for them now.

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Berk --- £34 below the maximum

          `I believe that dismissal from one local council is not regarded as reason for not being hired by other councils in the same or better positions.

          Anyway, such people have absolutely nothing on the money-thirst of national elected MPs: entirely ignoring the leftish sentiments of Counterpunch, the past expenses of the latest unmemorable breakaway group are a thing of joy forever.

          Ukania’s Party Defections

          eg:

          In October 2007, the Evening Standard reported that Ryan had claimed £173,691/$200,000 in expenses in the 2006/2007 tax year, the highest of any London MP...

          Smith claimed nearly £11,000/$12,600 in expenses in the 2 years after she entered parliament to set up a second home in a one-bedroom flat—her claim included 4 beds for this flat!..

          Austin claimed for the remaining £1,344 stamp duty cost in 2006–2007, together with his legal fees. In all, he went on to claim £22,076 (£34 below the maximum) in the next financial year...

          .

          Obviously MPs have always made money from their positions, that's the purpose of parliamentary democracy; but at least these officers in Warwickshire weren't benefiting financially from their actions.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Berk --- £34 below the maximum

            "I believe that dismissal from one local council is not regarded as reason for not being hired by other councils in the same or better positions."

            I know of at least one person who worked in IT in two nearby councils after having a 3-year jail term for fraud and reckless endangerment reduced to 2 on appeal, so not only is dismissal from one council no barrier to being hired by another, but you can get the first job with a criminal record and jail time. He then, most bizzarely, rocked up for interview at a tech vendor that supplied software to *both* of the councils he'd been dismissed from - for a job as a PM to both client projects. In the spirit of absolutely no due diligence on candidates, the vendor didn't realise he came with a reputation and record either.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Berk

      "I find it rather worrying that somebody stupid enough and dishonest enough to do this would be employed as head of building control."

      Having had lots of dealings with senior council employees (district and county) over building issues - I'm not at all surprised. Brown envelopes, family connections, matching ties and special handshakes seem to be the order of the day in many of them (particularly in the southeast of England)

      I'm guessing he rubbed someone senior up the wrong way at about the same time as he got caught - because most councils will simply close ranks and hush things up in order to prevent reputational damage (one example, an auditor I was working with wrote a rather damning report on the very cozy relationships between management in one section of the council and contractors.. That report never saw the light of day, the council denied the investigation ever took place and the auditor is now working elsewhere, refusing to talk about it).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid and dishonest enough

    Having grown up (god help me) in the North-East of England, I find it entirely unsurprising that the head of building control was this stupid and dishonest. It still worries me greatly though.

    As for this fugger, and his bloody partner, I'm only sorry they didn't both get a couple of months inside, not least pour encourager les autres.

    Still, that would set exactly the sort of precedent that HM Government couldn't countenance, as at least half of them are up to stuff that makes this look like very small beer indeed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a resident of said district it saddens but doesn't surprise me. The levels of incompetence within the council chambers have to be seen to be believed.

    Anon because, well ya never know!!!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Seems like no matter what side of the pond you're on it's the same everywhere for these "members".

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How low can they sink?

    You can't even get a decent 'quality' of corruption these days - no style at all.

  5. Ian Johnston

    I find it rather worrying that somebody stupid enough and dishonest enough to do this would be employed as head of building control.

    Sir needs to read "Rotten Boroughs" in Private Eye. Local government is spectacularly corrupt.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      "Rotten Boroughs" in Private Eye. Local government is spectacularly corrupt

      T'was ever thus - which is why PI uses that name for the section

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any chance of prosecuting the council as well? Why would the head of building control be able to access the whole HR system anyway?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Any chance of prosecuting the council as well?

      Well as this happened in 2017, ie. pre-GDPR, I suspect a crime was only committed when the guy passed the data to someone (ie. his wife) who at the time wasn't an employee.

      With GDPR there is the possibility of prosecuting the council.

      What would be interesting to know is how the breech was detected, given 'detection' didn't occur until after the wife had taken up the job, I presume someone didn't keep their mouth shut.

    2. BlackBooks

      vicarious liability

      Vicarious liability, akin to Morrisons, i wonder.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020