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Claimant Data Files

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many departmental files holding data on claimants went missing (a) temporarily and (b) permanently from filestores managed (i) by his Department and (ii) by private sector contractors in each year since 1995. [127187]

The Department do not hold the information in the manner requested.The available data relating to files lost or temporarily missing in the Department for Work and Pensions cannot be used to establish a national picture of the numbers lost or missing in the Department's file-stores.There is no consistent counting of files lost in file stores. Some stores, including the central store at Heywood managed by Iron Mountain, keep records of the numbers of files that cannot be traced. In these cases there is no way of distinguishing files actually missing in store, from those that could not be traced because they were never held in the store, or are in transit, or are held elsewhere in the organisation.