Government loses over 2,000 pieces of IT kit

Hand stealing iPad

Over 2,000 pieces of IT equipment were lost or stolen from Government departments in the period 2011-2012, it has been revealed.

The information was obtained by Labour's Cabinet Office shadow minister, Gareth Thomas, in response to a request to the House of Commons.

According to [a hreaf="" target="blank"]a report by Government Computing[/a], all departments have now responded, with the exception of the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office.

Of the 2,070 items that have gone missing, 1,058 have come from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The majority of these items fell into the other' category of IT equipment, which includes USB sticks, DVDs and CDs, and was also the largest category of loss and theft across all departments.

Furthermore, 206 computers, 24 mobile phones and 34 BlackBerrys also disappeared.

Thomas said he found the number of devices and IT kit that went missing "incredible" and called for a clamp down.

"Ministers should be doing all they can to make sure vital equipment and data are kept secure," he added.

In response to the MoD figures, a spokesperson told Government Computing: "The MoD takes the loss or theft of equipment very seriously and works hard to detect and deter theft.

"Where theft does occur and a suspect is identified, prosecution of internal disciplinary action will follow as appropriate," the spokesperson added.

The MoD was also one of the few departments to submit raw data, which does not account for any recovered items.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Home Office mislaid only 53 items, four of which were recovered. This figure is only representative of 2011, as 2012 statistics were not provided.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.