HMRC appoints 37 data guardians

Beefs up data responsibility

HM Revenue and Customs has appointed 37 staff to protect information, since it lost personal records on 25 million people last November.

Each of HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) business units has appointed a data guardian "to strengthen the management of the department's data assets", according to a parliamentary written answer by Jane Kennedy, financial secretary to the Treasury.

She said 24 of these officers are based in London, with two in Tyne and Wear, the location of the office from which the unencrypted computer discs containing the child benefit data were sent. A further 11 are based in other locations.

In response to another written question connected to the child benefit data loss, the Department for Work and Pensions said it provides data to the National Audit Office using "rigorous courier arrangements and a requirement that physical transfers of data must have the specific authority of a member of the senior civil service", according to Anne McGuire, minister for disabled people.

HMRC lost the child benefit discs while sending them through the government's unregistered internal post service to the National Audit Office, and a junior member of staff was initially blamed.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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