HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c743W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 26 June 2003,Official Report, column 936W, on GCHQ, whether any computers are missing. [123616]

Mr. Straw

The audit of GCHQ's 2001–02 account revealed that certain items (including computers) held on the asset register could not be located. Such cases have been investigated and all items satisfactorily accounted for.

In some cases, the items had been (correctly) disposed of; the remainder were in use but not in their original location. In these cases, the Fixed Asset Register had simply not been updated to reflect the true position. Other investigations have shown that a few items, mainly of portable computing equipment (not on the Fixed Asset Register) made available to staff for authorised work away from the office cannot be located and may have been lost or stolen. GCHQ's security division has, however, carried out appropriate investigations and concluded that no classified material has been compromised as a result.

The process of reconciling GCHQ's physical holdings of equipment with the Register continues, with regular communication with the National Audit Office on progress and plans for future work.