§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what new measures her Department took in 2001–02 to protect its property from theft or damage. 
§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
[holding answer 16 April 2002]: My Department takes physical security of its headquarter buildings seriously and is constantly looking at ways to improve the systems in place. As well as introducing new measures we already have a number of security measures/systems in place, which include:Clear written policy that is communicated to all staff;Asset registers and inventories that record asset descriptions, serial numbers, location, who has responsibility for them and value;905WOwnership" of assets assigned to named individuals;Periodic checks (both management and independent) to confirm the continued existence and condition of assets;Passes needed by staff giving permission to take assets such as laptops and projectors out of Government buildings;Random searches of bags by security staff;Clear written procedures about what to do when assets are damaged or go missing; andSecurity markings on equipment.
Additional measures that have been introduced during 2001–02 include the:Upgrading of the alarm system on the London estate so that it is capable of detecting movement on roofs and within its buildings;Fitting of alarms to the main computer stores on the London estate;Replacing the doors to the IT server with stronger materials to prevent forced access;Electronic tagging of any new laptops which are supplied from our Information Technology team. This system records the exact time and date when the equipment leaves the building; andUpgrading of the photo pass equipment on all headquarter sites to digital images which are stored electronically.