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UK Identity Crisis Police complaints authority the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to investigate the loss of 25 million private records by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The loss of two CDs containing the UK's entire child benefit database is now being investigated by: the Metropolitan Police, an inquiry led by Kieron Poynter of PWC, an internal HMRC inquiry, and an investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office.

HMRC asked the IPCC to get involved on 16 November. The IPCC probe will be led by senior investigator Joe Penrose.

Gary Garland, IPCC commissioner with responsibility for the Revenue, said: "The focus of our investigation will be to identify the causes of this extremely serious failure and consider whether relevant local and national policies and guidelines were complied with. Where appropriate we will identify where lessons can be learned and will make recommendations if further action is required.

"The IPCC's investigation is entirely separate from that being carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service, however, we shall be keeping in close touch with any developments that may affect our investigation."

We can only hope that as well as investigating what went wrong, all four investigations will continue poking around under desks and down the back of sofas in the hope of actually finding the missing CDs.

The information was sent out unencrypted on two CDs - not once, but three times. On one occasion the discs never arrived and it is these that the police and civil servants are still trying desperately to find.

The IPCC statement is here. ®

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