Equipment including laptops and USB flash drives went missing from the Ministry of Defence at an average rate of one a day, according to FoI figures [Image: Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images].

This Writer can’t help but speculate that these items of technological equipment may have been sold on by unscrupulous civil servants in order to supplement their pay.

Public sector pay has been frozen by the Conservative Government, although ministers have made exceptions for people they consider to be their mates.

I would guess that this makes the possibility of making money by any other means attractive to undervalued employees. The answer, of course, is to learn how to behave in a civilised manner and pay these people what they are worth.

As for those departments that refused to provide the information… Doesn’t the Department for Education realise that claiming any confirmation of thefts “will encourage continued theft” is confirming that thefts have happened?

It is easy to understand why, with leadership like that.

At least 1,000 government laptops, computers and USB flash drives have been reported lost or stolen since the general election in May 2015, according to official figures.

Equipment went missing from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at an average rate of more than one a day, according to records obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws.

Overall, the losses across government are likely to be much higher as a number of departments used legal technicalities to refuse to release the information.

A number of departments refused to give details about the number of losses and thefts by using a clause of the FoI Act to claim the information is exempt from disclosure.

They said releasing the numbers or revealing whether lost or stolen equipment contained sensitive information would be useful to criminals.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Education (DfE), along with the Ministry of Justice, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health and Cabinet Office used the exemption.

DfE officials refused to even say if the department held records about missing equipment, claiming that confirming such information “could encourage continued theft”.

Source: At least 1,000 government laptops and flash drives reported missing since 2015 | Politics | The Guardian

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