In May 2010 the Coalition Government published The Coalition: our programme for government, under the heading Civil Liberties that document states: “We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database”. That seems very clear indeed. There was also this report about Michael Gove on 10th June in the Evening Standard were it was reported :- “It was also confirmed today that the Government would scrap the ContactPoint database holding information on all under 18s”.
But, only a few days later the Gilbert & Sullivanesque entitled Director General of the Department of Education, Tom Jeffrey (ex DG of Dept of Children Families and Schools) writes a letter to local Directors of Children’s Services letting them know that the C0ntactPoint database is not being abolished after all.
According to Kable his letter says:- “ContactPoint will remain in use but that its operations will be scaled down”. and that “the government recognises the big investment made on the system – estimated at £227m over five years – and wants to make appropriate use of it where practicable. It has decided to maintain ContactPoint until a further decision has been made on its replacement.” (Hat tip to Chris Mills for discovering this Yes Minister gem)
I guess the replacement will be PointContact – after all wouldn’t is be a shame to waste that investment (alternatively known as throwing good taxpayers money after bad) and how sad if all those dedicated staff had to go and do something useful and what a shame to throw away a huge database of intrusive personal information. After all Minister, you never know when it might come in handy.
I presume that to words like promise, pledge, scrap and abolish the Coalition is applying the politically invaluable Humpty Dumpty dictum;