The Consulting Association

The Consulting Association, an organisation that ran a database containing details on 3,213 construction workers, has been investigated and prosecuted by the ICO. The database, which was used by over 40 construction companies to vet individuals for employment, included information about construction workers’ personal relationships, trade union activity, and employment history. 

How do I know if The Consulting Association held information about me?

Because people may have been denied employment because of the activities of The Consulting Association, the ICO has taken the unusual step of assuming control of the database. We have set up a telephone service for people to check whether information about them was held on The Consulting Association’s database. This service will be provided by the ICO, not The Consulting Association.

The records recovered from The Consulting Association  will not be kept indefinitely. However, to support ongoing legal proceedings on the part of those whose details were recorded on The Consulting Association database the ICO will retain the database until October 2010. We will then review our position and update our website.

What should I do to find out if I am on the database?

If you wish to check whether information about you is held on the database you can call our Helpline on 0303 123 1113 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and choose option 1. Give us your name, and we will search the database. If no match is found, we will confirm this straight away.

If the details you provide are similar to or seem likely to match those of someone on the database, we will ask you to provide us with further identification in writing. Once we have verified your identity and confirmed whether your details match those on the database, we will contact you to confirm if information is held about you and provide you with a copy of it.

If when you call our Helpline you are unable to get through first time, please be patient. We have assigned as many staff as possible to this service, but if demand is very high it may take a while to get through.

Please wait until you have contacted us by telephone before writing to us. If we need you to write to us we will send you a ‘Request Pack’, detailing all the information you will need to provide.

What action is the ICO taking?

We have successfully prosecuted Ian Kerr, who operated The Consulting Association. We will update our website with any further developments in the case. 

Whilst we will respond to written enquiries, we will be giving priority to those who wish to know whether information about them was held by The Consulting Association.

Which companies used The Consulting Association?

The list below shows the companies that subscribed to The Consulting Association. The use of brackets indicates 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 avail themselves of the service.  

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
Read the ICO's legal statement regarding 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
Read the ICO's legal statement regarding Spie Matthew Hall Limited 

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).

What action is the ICO proposing to take against these companies?

Our investigations have led us to believe that all the companies listed above have, at some point, used the services of The Consulting Association.  We have served Enforcement Notices to 14 of the companies that used the services of The Consulting Association . To view the Enforcements Notices that we have served, click on the company names listed below.

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited Enforcement Notice

Balfour Beatty Construction Northern Limited Enforcement Notice

Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish & Southern Limited Enforcement Notice

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (HY) Limited Enforcement Notice

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited Enforcement Notice

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Services Limited Enforcement Notice

CB&I UK Limited Enforcement Notice

Emcor Engineering Services Limited Enforcement Notice

Emcor Rail Limited Enforcement Notice

Kier Limited Enforcement Notice

NG Bailey Limited Enforcement Notice

Shepherd Engineering Services Limited Enforcement Notice

SIAS Building Services Limited Enforcement Notice

Whessoe Oil & Gas Limited Enforcement Notice

What about other intelligence databases I have heard of or believe may exist?

The ICO is committed to investigating any intelligence databases being operated in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

It is however very important to note that compiling and operating an intelligence database, even where this is done covertly, does not automatically breach the Data Protection Act. Each case must therefore be considered on its own merits.

If you believe you have evidence of an intelligence database being operated in breach of the Data Protection Act and wish to bring this to our attention please contact us.