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Departmental Databases

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what audits his Department and its agencies have carried out in relation to personal data and IT equipment in each of the last 10 years. (176480)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) main IT system, Firecrest, is accredited to handle classified information in accordance with Government security policies. As such it is subject to constant monitoring, but it would not be in the public interest to disclose in detail the methods used.

Personal data have been included within our usual information audits of individual Departments, which measure performance against FCO information management policies. Until now, personal data have not been subject to separate central audit. We are, however, reviewing our procedures as part of the Government's data handling review, see paragraph 29 of the Interim Progress Report available at: