‘A colossal error’

My goodness, what a mess. A junior civil servant in the unhappy liaison that is HMRC apparently showed a little too much initiative last month, and when asked by the Audit Office for the details of all the people in the UK receiving Child Benefit, he or she simply copied the information onto 2 discs and popped them in the internal post.

The only problem with the scenario is of course that the discs were lost in the post, so to speak, and the details of 25 million people are…. well….. missing. Names, addresses, dates of birth, childrens’ dates of birth and bank details. It’s been called almost everything, but I reserve the right to call it GUBU. Two things strike me above all else: Are Gordon and Tony’s personal details missing, and how on earth did they get that many names on 2 discs? It is too early to say who will fall or when, but the first casualty was the Head of HMRC who fell on his sword last night. As an affected parent who intends closing down the bank account concerned, I have to say the whole affair truly beggars belief. I mean- have you ever tried to phone these people for details? They wouldn’t tell you the time of day without an authorisation in triplicate, yet they have shown a cavalier disregard for the Data Protection Act, as well as the 25 million unsuspecting citizens involved in the debacle. I don;t think we have heard the last of this yet, by a long shot. UPDATE: Looks like the wags aren’t wasting any time with this one Cheers, Fraggle