HC Deb 16 April 2002 vol 383 cc904-5W
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. [47324]

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; Ownership" 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; and Security 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; and Upgrading of the photo pass equipment on all headquarter sites to digital images which are stored electronically.

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