Magazine article Public Finance

Revenue's Loss of Data 'Avoidable' but No-One Is to Blame

Magazine article Public Finance

Revenue's Loss of Data 'Avoidable' but No-One Is to Blame

Article excerpt

Chancellor Alistair Darling has said the loss of two child benefit data CDs was entirely avoidable', after a trio of reviews of the 'woefully inadequate' processes that led to the loss were published on June 25.

Both the review carried out by the chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kieran Poynter, and the report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission on the loss of data on 25 million child benefit claimants, found the incident was avoidable, but did not attribute blame to individual staff.

The IPCC said there was a complete lack of any meaningful systems; a lack of understanding of the importance of data handling; and a "muddle through" ethos' at Revenue & Customs, describing the processes at the child benefit office in Washington, Tyne and Wear, as 'woefully inadequate'.

The FDA senior civil servants' union and the Public and Commercial Services union welcomed the reports' findings of institutional failure rather than individual blame, but criticised budget cuts at R&C. …

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