You have to laugh

I think this is called having your cake and eating it. Engaged in the nerdy pursuit of trawling the last few days of parliamentary questions, I found the following written answer from Ministry of Justice Minister David Hanson to a question about young people serving indeterminate prison sentences – not something the government enjoys talking about:

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing so numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.

And here we were thinking that Contactpoint and eCAF would be infallible. In similar vein, the BBC reports that in the last 3 years:

More than 600 staff at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have been disciplined for accessing personal or sensitive data, it has been revealed

Treasury Minister Jane Kennedy is keen to stress

However, this represents less than 1 per cent. of total staff for each of the three years in question

Let’s see, if Contactpoint and eCAF have 330,000 users and just 0.5% misuse their access, I make that 1,650 people. Despite ministerial assurances that employees are always caught (and how do they know about the ones who weren’t?) it’s clear from the HMRC figures that the risk hasn’t acted as a deterrent over the past few years.

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