HMRC letters of apology cost £2.25m

HMRC letters of apology cost £2.25m

Summary: Opposition MPs have attacked the cost of the letters sent to those affected by the loss of 25 million child-benefit records

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TOPICS: Security
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The government has admitted it cost £2.25m to send letters of apology to people affected by the loss of 25 million child-benefit records by HM Revenue & Customs.

The seven-figure bill provoked outrage from the TaxPayer's Alliance, which attacked HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for losing the two CDs after it posted them to the National Audit Office last year.

The financial secretary to the Treasury, Jane Kennedy, revealed the cost in written answers to the House of Commons.

Kennedy stated: "The cost of sending letters to the families affected by the recent loss of data by HMRC is estimated at £2.25m, including postage costs."

Conservative and Liberal Democrats MPs said, if any of the letters had gone missing, it could have triggered a second wave of data loss

Both Conservative and Liberal Democrats MPs attacked the huge spend and said, if any of the letters had gone missing, it could have triggered a second wave of data loss.

The Treasury and HMRC defended the decision to send out the letters, saying it was right to approach those affected individually.

The revelation follows the Metropolitan Police's announcement that it would seek the full costs from HMRC for the force's hunt for the missing discs.

The bill for the search, which is now winding down, reportedly makes it the UK's most expensive lost-property inquiry.

Topic: Security

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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3 comments
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  • I can't believe I'm saying this, but give them a break

    OK, they screwed up BIG time. However, if I was one of those affected by the HMRC data leak, I would want to know and for the calculator challenged the letters actually cost 11.11 pence each, which is pretty cheap I'd say.
    Andrew Meredith
  • Oops

    It cost 9p each!
    The Former Moley
  • Erm ... :-]

    .. or 9 pence each .. sorry about that .. does make the point even sharper though.
    Andrew Meredith