Wednesday, December 05, 2007

HMRC laptops stolen at rate of four a month

According to the Treasury minister Jane Kennedy, in the last 11 months they have been 45 laptops stolen from HMRC offices (16 of which were from a break in). There have alos been three laptops stolen from the Treasury during the same period.

This doesn't just raise questions about the trustworthyness and integrity of the staff bveing employed, but given the entire Child Benefit database was put on two cds, how much information might have been lying around on all the stolen laptops?

Whilst on the subject of HMRC, I just received an acknowledgement for an FoI I submitted. The end of the email says,
"HM Revenue & Customs computer systems will be monitored and communications carried on them recorded, to secure the effective operation of the system and for lawful purposes."
I have to admit that caused a wry smile when I saw it.


Unixman said...

And the chances of them having encrypted file systems are ...?

excalibur said...

From The Register

HMRC offers £20k reward for ID goldmine CDs

The Discgate story gets better all the time.

excalibur said...

"And the chances of them having encrypted file systems are ...?"

zilch, the square root of zero.

Yer know, there's just something about the Civil Service and IT systems which doesn't match up.

IT departments full of free thinking types, who at odds to appearances, do take the job seriously, very seriously, and the Civil Service which is rule followers and arse coverers has a totally different mentality It was once pointed out to me that the Civil Service is a machine designed and run by a few clever people to perform a complicated task with legions of stupid people. I don't think that a thing like that can cope with the pace of change in the IT world, or realise the hideously dangerous thing it's trying to control.

Unfortunately, big IT projects really appeal to politicians who can't see the road going past through the holes in the floor, all they can see is the double page ads in the Sunday rags, with the exhaust pipes edited out. All that control, there for spending our money, just sooo tempting. There are numerous salesmen from EDS etc. to take them to a high place and show them the kingdoms of the world.

In the commercial world, failed IT projects can just about be canned, or de-scoped, or will make the company go bust. In the world of government, the customer can just chuck more at the project and the show goes on. You can see government IT procurement as being set to reward bad behaviour, and that's always going to end in disaster.