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Foreign Office loses dozens of PCs and smartphones

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After other government departments revealed the number of electrical goods they'd left scattered around the pubs and train seats of the country, the Foreign Office has just coughed up the statistics on how many of its gadgets went missing last year.

Since August 2010 Foreign Office bods lost 28 computers and 37 mobiles phones including standard issue BlackBerrys. Admittedly 12 of the computers and 22 of the mobs were lost overseas, so it is possible that the civil servants mislaid their gadgets while riding camels, ducking under enemy fire or escaping similar sticky spots in the line of duty.

The information was made public in response to a Parliamentary question from Labour MP Gareth Thomas. The FO spokesman was at pains to point out that "lost" could also mean "stolen or damaged".

The Foreign Office faired better than the worst offenders. The Justice Ministry, for instance, just can't seem to keep a grip on its equipment, losing 127 computers, 71 BlackBerrys and 293 other items of IT equipment between 1 May 2010 and 30 September 2011.

The Northern Ireland Office and the Welsh assembly wins a gold star for managing to not lose any electronic equipment for a whole year.

The Home Office recently revealed that its had lost 36 BlackBerry (or similar mobile phones) in 2010 along with 25 computers. ®

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