More than half of London borough councils lost citizens' personal data last year, the BBC reported yesterday.
Radio Five Live's Donal MacIntyre reported on Sunday that several data breaches happened while the people holding the documents were in pubs.
The BBC reported that 23 councils replied to the freedom of information request. More than half said data had been lost, stolen or inadvertently disclosed.
In one case, sensitive information about children in care was stolen when a youth worker took files into a bar. In another, files containing court reports and a review of a statement of special educational needs were stolen from a social worker's bag while they were in a pub.
In another, thieves stole a notebook with the names and addresses of 12 young people in care from a youth worker while he was in a bar after work.
The survey also found in October 2007 thieves stole 375 student files, including copies of their birth certificates and parents' P60 annual tax statements, before they could be destroyed.
The new Local Government Chief Information Officer Council is working with the Local Government Association and the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitim) on new guidelines for data protection.