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Child Benefit: Personal Records

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people whose data were on the child benefit discs have yet to be sent a letter of apology. (175366)

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.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date HM Revenue and Customs staff first searched premises of the National Audit Office looking for the missing computer discs. (176892)

HMRC detection teams first searched the NAO offices at 151-157 Buckingham Palace Road on 14 November 2007.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations he received directly from banks requesting a postponement of the announcement of the loss of computer discs containing the personal data of child benefit claimants. (176893)

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.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many calls have been received by the Child Benefit helpline since the loss of personal records by HM Revenue and Customs; and what the average length was of these calls. (176897)

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.