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Departmental Lost Property

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what equipment owned by his Department has been (a) stolen and (b) otherwise unaccounted for in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan in each of the last three years; and what the cost of such equipment was. (317970)

The information is as follows:

Iraq

The following equipment owned by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been stolen, or is otherwise unaccounted for, during the last three years from our posts in Iraq:

Basra

No equipment has been stolen or is otherwise unaccounted for over the last three years.

Erbil

No equipment has been stolen or is otherwise unaccounted for over the last three years.

Baghdad

In 2007 a shipping container was stolen from a transport contractor while en route from Basra to Baghdad. It contained furnishings and vehicle spares. The cost of the furnishings was £20,000. The cost of the vehicle spares was £10,000. A pickup truck was stolen from the embassy compound by a former locally employed member of staff. The cost of the vehicle was $15,000.

In 2008 no equipment was reported missing or was otherwise unaccounted for.

In 2009 a pistol worth about £900 was removed from a security contractor's accommodation compound in the International Zone in Baghdad. The contractor's compound was not part of the embassy compound. Security in Baghdad is of paramount concern and we took this matter very seriously. A thorough investigation into the loss was carried out by a Board of Inquiry. As a result procedures were strengthened to ensure that such a loss could not occur again and two individuals faced disciplinary action.

Afghanistan

The following equipment owned by FCO has been stolen, or is otherwise unaccounted for, during the last three years from our posts in Afghanistan:

Lashkar Gah

No equipment has been recorded as stolen or was otherwise unaccounted for over the last three years.

Kabul

In 2007 and 2008, no equipment has been recorded as stolen or was otherwise unaccounted for. However, in 2009 eight sets of body armour totalling £7,600 loaned to visitors were not returned. Steps are being taken to recover them.