£50k-worth of computers lost by Department of Justice

£50k-worth of computers lost by Department of Justice

Last year Whitehall lost 1,987 computers, many from the Home Office and Ministry of Defence

Days after the HMRC missing disks scandal, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has revealed that a desktop computer and 26 laptops worth £50,000 have gone missing this year.

Last year departments lost a total of 292 computers, many of them from the Home Office and Ministry of Defence.

The MoJ thefts were disclosed by minister of justice David Hanson in response to questions from shadow Treasury minister David Gauke.

Hanson gave no indication of the information that might have been stored on the missing machines nor the steps taken to recover them or action taken against any negligent staff.

Gauke said he is sceptical of Hanson's claim that despite the losses "from a variety of locations" across England and Wales "there have been no reported security breaches".

"I think this reflects a casual attitude towards security across government and without doubt in some cases personal data will have been available on these computers," said Gauke.

"It further highlights the issue of missing data is not a one-off event and shows there is a failure of culture within the government to take the security of citizens' personal data seriously."