http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... rfect.htmlContactPoint: government admits 'risks' in £224m database 'will never be perfect'
By Martin Beckford
Published: 7:30AM GMT 06 Mar 2010
Vulnerable children could be placed in danger by Labour’s flagship child protection database, a confidential report admits.
The official study seen by The Daily Telegraph concedes “residual risks remain” that the ContactPoint system cannot keep secret the identity of adopted young people who may be at risk of abuse.
It states that the problems with the register of all 11 million children in England “cannot be easily or quickly amended” despite the efforts of IT experts.
In addition, mistakes and duplicate records are entering the £224million database because the computerised process of adding files “cannot and will never be perfect”.
The report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, says the "unexpected results" regarding adopted children’s records "cannot be easily or quickly amended".
Because ContactPoint takes automatic feeds of data from a variety of sources such as pupil registers at school and birth registers, duplicate records can be created if names are spelled differently.
But attempts to improve the software now mean that it merges together records of twins, wrongly assuming they refer to the same person.
The report admits: “The process of automated matching cannot and will never be perfect, so there will always be cases where duplicate records are created."