Report into Disc Loss

A report into the loss of 25 million records on CDs by the HMRC, by Kieran Poynter, has been published. While the report does not blame individual people who are at fault, it does highlight “serious institutional deficiencies” and states that there losses were “entirely avoidable”

Kieran Poynter’s Report blames the loss of the two discs on poor communication between management and junior staff, and low morale at the HMRC’s offices in Washington, Tyne and Wear. Apparently senior officials were not even aware that data was being removed until after the incident.

If the loss was “reckless” then this would be an offence under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act, which since May 2008 has had increased sentacing powers.

he Independent Police Complaints Comission, IPCC. also conducted an investigation into the disk loss. Their findings were similar to those of the Poynter and found failings in HMRC. However the staff at the HMRC were granted immunity prior to the investigation starting.

The IPCC Report states that:

When the IPCC investigation began it was clear that a number of written and signed immunities had been agreed by the Acting Chairman of HMRC, Dave Hartnett CB, and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Articles on BBC The Register, Out-Law

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2 Responses to “Report into Disc Loss”

  1. MoD: Data Loss « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] case of the HMRC losing data (the HMRC data loss, which was subsequently slated in numerous reports). All of these data breaches were avoidable by basic common sense, despite this the MoD theft of a […]

  2. Data Loss: 3 million records (2007) « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] this article combined with the HMRC Loss, which was slated by numerous reports, shows the UK Government can not keep hold of data, what is more important is the fact that UK data […]


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