Feeds

DEFRA loses tapes - and plot

Situation normal - usual staggering government incompetence

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

It has been revealed that the UK's Rural Payments Agency (RPA) lost tapes five months ago which contained the payment details of more than 100,000 farmers in the UK. It told DEFRA and DEFRA told nobody else, certainly not the farmers.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ) is pointing the finger at IBM for losing the tapes, according to Farmers Weekly. What seems to have happened is that 39 backup tapes were transferred by the RPA to Newcastle from its Reading offices. The tapes then went missing. Thirty seven were found but two were not.DEFRA reckons that the tapes were simply placed on the wrong shelf by IBM staff, who actually operate the RPA data centre in Newcastle, although it seems that Accenture staff at Newcastle were involved as well.

The last definite record of the tapes' existence was in June last year. In May this year, IBM staff realised the tapes were missing and the RPA then told DEFRA.

Were the tapes encrypted? Don't be silly. Firstly, this is a UK government agency and, secondly, it is DEFRA, which marks it out as being more than usually incompetent. It's even tried the old scam-excuse of saying people would need specialised equipment to get data off the tapes - you know, like a tape drive and backup software, the sort of stuff that every tape-using IT shop has. Tsk, tsk, boys, pull the other one.

A DEFRA spokesperson suggests that it is likely that the lost tapes have been destroyed without anybody realising, a suggestion that hardly implies great procedural rigour in the department. Meanwhile, DEFRA has told IBM and Accenture to tighten up their procedures. The Farmers Weekly report contains a quote saying that DEFRA's top management is rotten to the core.

DEFRA is currently making a complete manure pile of the single payments system for farmers and this tape loss revelation will confirm farmers' views about DEFRA. Namely that it's a complete pile of poo so bad that they wouldn't even spread it on their fields. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.