§ Mr. Ian McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will list the cost and number of items of equipment and furniture that have been stolen or are otherwise unaccounted for from each region of the former Department of Employment in each of the past five years, listing by name such items valued at £5,000 or more. 
§ Mr. Robin Squire
[holding answer 2 February 1996]: The Employment Department group kept site records of each incident of loss, which were subject to audit; these records included details of the numbers of items lost in each incident, and the nature of the loss—that is, theft or other hostile action, or other causes. However, the large majority of these records are retained regionally or locally. It would be disproportionately costly and time consuming to search these records to provide the information on a regional basis.
Summary reports were made to the head offices of the former Employment Department and its agencies for central recording.
These reports included a valuation of the loss, which was based on either the cost of the item at purchase or the estimated value at the time of the loss or the replacement cost; the measure chosen in each case was the one giving the most accurate picture of the loss to the Department. It was not always appropriate for the summaries to show the number and details of items of equipment involved in an incident.
I am able to provide the following information about items of equipment stolen or unaccounted for in the last five financial years. One incident involving loss of 534W furniture is recorded. No items of equipment valued individually at £5,000 or more are recorded as lost. The following table gives the information available:
Employment Department: Cost and number of items of equipment lost or incidents of loss of equipment Number of items (where recorded) Number of incidents (number of items not recorded) Total value (£) 1991–92: ES (total for all regions) — 2 886 ACAS 0 0 — ED 0 0 — HSE (total for all regions) 34 — 51,405 DE group total 1991–92 34 2 52,291 1992–93: ES (total for all regions) — 24 34,877 ACAS 0 0 — ED 2 — 3,420 HSE (total for all regions) 86 — 197,362 DE group total 1992–93 88 24 235,659 1993–94: ES (total for all regions) — 34 20,150 ACAS 3 — 14,400 ED — 3 400 HSE (total for all regions) 275 — 507,518 DE group total 1993–94 278 37 542,468 1994–95: ES (total for all regions) — 70 59,389 ACAS 21 — 16,200 ED 24 — 2,875 HSE (total for all regions) 22 — 25,760 DE group total 1994–95 67 70 104,224 1995–96 (part-year): ES (total for all regions) — 48 84,928 ACAS 40 — 79,191 ED 517 — 285,570 HSE (total for all regions) 98 — 37,352 DE group total 1995–96 (part-year) 655 48 487,041