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Departmental Lost Property

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) laptop computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) items of office furniture and (d) works of art have been (i) lost by and (ii) stolen from his Department in each of the last three years; whether his Department has made an insurance claim in respect of each such item; and what the estimated value of each item was. (300592)

The MOD takes any loss of information, associated media storage devices and valuable assets very seriously and has robust procedures in place to mitigate against such occurrences. New processes, instructions and technological aids are also being constantly implemented to mitigate human errors and to raise awareness of every individual in the Department with regards to information assets, information and its security. The quantity and impact of lost or stolen data has been significantly reduced due to these steps and the use of appropriate encryption in the MOD.

MOD units are not mandated to centrally report incidents of the loss or theft of mobile phones or office furniture nor record any related insurance claims. No work of art for which MOD is responsible has been reported lost or stolen during the last three years. To gather the further data beyond that reported below would incur a disproportionate cost.

For information on mobile telephones I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 26 January 2009, Official Report, column 33W, to the hon. Member for Newark (Patrick Mercer).

For information on laptop computers I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the then Armed Forces Minister, Bob Ainsworth, on 24 March 2009, Official Report, columns 271-72W, to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox).

No insurance claims have been made in respect of any of the above items in the MOD since 2006, which, in common with other Government Departments, does not generally insure and, instead, bears it own risks.