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Ministry of Defence: Data Loss

Volume 698: debated on Thursday 7 February 2008

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Des Browne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 21 January 2008 I informed the House about the theft of laptop computers from Ministry of Defence vehicles and premises and announced that, following consultation with the Information Commissioner, I had invited Sir Edmund Burton to undertake a full investigation into the losses. In response to questions I gave an undertaking to the House to provide further details of the Burton review, including reporting timescales, when they were available. I am now in a position to do so.

I have agreed the following terms of reference for the review with Sir Edmund following consultation with the Information Commissioner.

To establish the exact circumstances and events that led to the loss by MoD of personal data; to examine the adequacy of the steps taken to prevent any recurrence, and of MoD policy, practice and management arrangements in respect of the protection of personal data more generally; to make recommendations; and to report to MoD's Permanent Secretary not later than 30 April 2008.

I will make a further Statement to the House once Sir Edmund's work has been concluded.