Feeds

How many staff has HMRC caught snooping on records?

Noses out of our tax files, please

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.