Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Missing Disc Report Damns Brown And Darling

Brown and Darling were quick to point the finger of blame at an overworked and underpaid junior in the Tax Office, when two child benefit discs with highly personal details of 25m people went missing last autumn.  Now three reports highlight the real culprits - Brown and Darling. 

It was the undynamic duo who created an incompetent, inadequate and muddled mess at HMRC that caused the discs to go missing in the first place.

After the loss in November, Darling insisted to MPs that a "junior official" had been responsible for posting the information "contrary to all HMRC standing procedures".

Time and again the prime minister and his chancellor stood up and blamed the loss on this office junior for not following the correct security procedures.

Today the Poynter Report into the missing discs scandal does not blame individual officials at all, but instead highlights "serious institutional deficiencies" at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with "incompetence and systemic failure at the heart of this government".

And there's more. A separate report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said data security processes at HMRC were "woefully inadequate" with "a complete lack of any meaningful systems" and a "muddle-through" ethos.

And even more. The Information Commissioner, has waded in saying: "The reports that have been published today show deplorable failures at both HMRC and MoD.

The child benefit records, on computer disc, were just one of a number of personal records that went missing over the last few months.  The child benefit discs were posted from HMRC to the National Audit Office (NAO). When the disc didn't arrive, another disc was sent and that didn't get there either.

The lesson is clear. The next time there is a gold-plated cock up in one of Brown's government departments - don't blame the staff, blame him.

1 comment:

Silent Hunter said...

I never thought I would find myself wishing 2 years of my life away; but it would be worth it to get rid of this shambles of a government tomorrow.

If only REVOLUTION was more popular amongst us Brits.
We could get rid of them tomorrow without having to struggle through 2 more years of sleaze & corruption.