Monday, July 06, 2009

Who is Lisa Greenwood?

The Telegraph and the Fail, amongst others, have reported on the dismissal of a relatively junior civil servant, Lisa Greenwood for posting an anonymous comment slagging Hazel Blears for her flipping of homes on one of the They Work for You websites from her work e-mail address.

Let's lay aside for a moment that the punishment appears excessive.

I'm particularly interested in the "They Work for You" angle to this. They have been widely quoted as the website where Lisa Greenwood is supposed to have made her comment, but a quick glance at their Twitter feed shows that they are mystified by it all and in fact their statement shows that they are mighty pissed off at the implication that they would just gamely hand over private information to a Government department, even if they had been able to trace it, without putting up a fight.

I think that the Department of Children, Schools and Families is going to have to come clean as to a) which website the comment is supposed to have been made on and b) how they found out about it. I think I need to feel reassured that Lisa Greenwood's e-mails were not being intercepted or scrutinised by her employers because that would be an unacceptable breach of privacy.

It does seem that the punishment handed out to Lisa Greenwood hardly fitted the crime. I would have thought that a warning would have sufficed if these were the only circumstances. It's obviously too late to help her, but it is a bit ridiculous to go sacking people for something that can't even be publicly traced back to the department.

The reporting of this story has raised significant questions which require to be answered. They Work for You have had their respect for confidentiality and privacy brought into doubt and that needs to be sorted out quickly. They've acted quickly to give their version of events and they have requested that anyone with more information contact them so they can get to the bottom of it all. So if you know Lisa Greenwood, or have any information that would help them, please get in touch with them via Twitter or their website.

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