'No lost memory sticks' shocker for gov't dept

It had to happen sooner or later

It had to happen sooner or later

While seemingly a week doesn't go past without another government data loss as a result of a mislaid memory stick, one government department has made a shocking revelation: it hasn't lost any for several years.

In a written answer to Parliament, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Paul Goggins revealed that no memory sticks or desktop computers have been lost or stolen from his department between 2001 and 2008.

Figures prior to 2001 are not available, Goggins said in response to a question by Paul Holmes, Lib Dem MP for Chesterfield.

However, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) wasn't exempt from technology going missing.

According to Goggins, five laptops and one hard drive were stolen over the last seven years, while 22 mobiles were lost and six were reported stolen.

Despite the losses, the NIO still shines compared to other government departments.

In response to written questions this week by Holmes, the Department of Transport reported 14 memory sticks, 21 laptops, 10 desktops, one hard drive and 15 mobiles lost or stolen between 2003 and 2008 and the Department for International Development confirmed it had had one memory stick, 39 laptops and 28 mobiles lost or stolen between 2001 and 2008.