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Data Loss: Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the risk to witnesses, especially those from the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, of the loss of a disk containing confidential data by the Rosemary Nelson inquiry; and what safeguards have been put in place to prevent further loss of protectively marked material. [HL3859]

The initial investigation and advice from the PSNI has stated that there are no grounds to suspect that there will be any adverse consequences as a result of the loss of these data. Further risk analysis of the data is being carried out by those organisations involved. It is not believed that the disk has been stolen.

The Rosemary Nelson inquiry has also identified a number of steps to prevent any further loss of protectively marked material and is taking a proactive approach to ensuring that security guidance is understood and followed.

The Government have appointed an independent security adviser to review all the arrangements that are in place at each of the Northern Ireland public inquiries for the handling and storage of protectively marked material.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any member of staff attached to, or any member of, the Rosemary Nelson inquiry has been dismissed or suspended as a result of the loss of a disk containing confidential data. [HL3861]

The PSNI is conducting an investigation into the loss of the disk, and it would be inappropriate to comment before that investigation is complete.

The Government have also engaged an independent security adviser to review all the arrangements at the Rosemary Nelson inquiry, and the other independent public inquiries, for the handling and storage of protectively marked material to determine events surrounding the loss of the disk and make recommendations.