HM Revenue and Customs have sent letters of apology to the vast majority of households where personal data relating to the child benefit recipient, their partner and their children were on the discs.
HMRC detection teams first searched the NAO offices at 151-157 Buckingham Palace Road on 14 November 2007.
I refer the hon. Member to the statement my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer made on 20 November 2007, Official Report, column 1102.
Kieran Poynter, chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers, is investigating HMRC’s security processes and procedures for data handling.
The interim report was published on 17 December 2007 and is available in the Library of the House.
The number of calls, specifically relating to data loss, handled by the Child Benefit Helpline between 20 November and 18 December 2007 is around 71,000.
Over this same period the average call handling time for these calls, taken as the length of the conversation together with the time taken by the adviser to complete any resulting tasks, is around two and a half minutes.