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Departmental Lost Property

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) equipment and (b) data were lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (231442)

The Department does not differentiate between stolen, missing or lost equipment. The portable equipment lost or stolen for the period April 2007 to March 2008 is as follows:


Total items lost during the year

Mobile phones






Psions, PalmPilots, Ipaqs, Blackberrys


Laptop Projectors


Other IT equipment


Total losses


The Department takes the security and protection of its assets very seriously. Its policy and procedures are constantly reviewed and cases of losses or thefts are investigated. As a further deterrent, the Department marks its portable equipment with an invisible forensic dye called Smartwater. The Department's Security Unit continues to raise security awareness and physical protection of information technology equipment among its staff.

The Department has recorded one personal data related incident in 2007-08 in its Resource Accounts published on 10 October 2008. This concerned the Medical Training Application Service website where personal details of some junior doctors were erroneously made available as a result of action taken by a third party managing data on the Department's behalf, contrary to the instructions on data handling issued to them by the Department.