Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/19/ico_it_forensics/

ICO creates IT forensics team

But keeps Focus for complex cases

By Kablenet

Posted in Government, 19th July 2007 09:04 GMT

The Information Commissioner's Office has set up its own IT forensics department to support its enforcement activities.

The data protection watchdog has established the inhouse unit to cover 80 per cent of the more standard cases, as it is more cost-effective than using an external organisation and helps with the continuity of investigations.

The team will ensure that when officers investigate how an organisation handles its data, relevant information is copied from the organisation's computers in a way that makes it admissible for use in court.

An ICO spokesperson told GC News: "The team has received specialised training, primarily in the software but also in the procedures in the handling of court evidence." Data must be traceable back to an organisation's systems if it is to be admissible in court.

Previously, the ICO had used fraud management and investigation company Focus to undertake such work. However, the ICO says its size limits its ability to keep up with all types of technology used by organisations, and has decided to retain Focus for the larger and more complex cases.

The ICO recently signed a £7m five year IT services deal with Alfred McAlpine IT Services. The contract covers service desk support, network management, server management, desktop management, application management, hosting, disaster recovery, and security management for about 280 staff across the ICO's six offices.

The contract, which replaces the ICO's previous 10 year agreement with Fujitsu, contains efficiency targets and allows for service improvements to be made in the future.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.