Feeds

How many staff has HMRC caught snooping on records?

Noses out of our tax files, please

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Over 610 civil servants at HMRC have been disciplined or dismissed for inappropriately accessing tax records since the department was formed by the merger of Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue three years ago.

Refreshingly, none have been caught reading HMRC personnel files, though more than 600 have been caught snooping on UK citizens' tax records.

In a written answer, financial secretary Jane Kennedy revealed that less than one per cent of total HMRC staff per year have been caught improperly accessing information.

Between April 2005 and December 2005 238 civil servants were disciplined or dismissed for snooping. Between January and December 2006 the figure was 180, and between January and December 2007 192 people were caught.

Kennedy told the Commons the numbers "reflect the strength of HMRC's internal disciplinary procedures".

She said: "Each case is treated on its merits but in many cases the disciplinary penalty for breach is dismissal."

Kennedy refused to reveal what training the so-called Data Guardians have been given. It was revealed last month that 37 guardians have been appointed - one for each business unit. These mythical creatures are meant to provide staff with guidance on protecting data and take responsibilty for screw-ups in their business units.

Asked how many staff had access to sensitive data and how many were allowed to download such information to disc she said access to data was controlled by user-role.

MPs were told it was not possible to provide information on how many staff had that access, or how many had received training because such information "could be collated only at a disproportionate cost.".

Kennedy also said HMRC had discussed 11 incidents of data security with the Information Commissioner's Office since April 2005.

The actual answer is available from this page. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.