The Civil Service Is Evil #1: Some everyday schmoe (although evil, obviously) has put your information on a disk and lost it
Oh, I’m angry about this new data-loss scandal. Very angry indeed, although (as you’re no doubt already expecting) not for the standard reasons. I am, of course, a government employee. Usually this seems to count as apparent grounds for my opinions to be immediately dismissed, so go ahead if you must. Anyone still here? Blimey.
The fact that people’s private information has been lost is revolting. I’m not attempting to deny that. I don’t think a lot of people are likely to be defrauded a a result (this ‘identity fraud’ lark seems to be one of the boogeymen of the modern age. Of course it happens sometimes, but the way its reported is cretinous. “Shred your letters, there are snoopers searching through rubbish dumps to get your address!” Idiotic.), but for the few that are and the many more that may well find themselves added to mailing lists/tele-canvassing lists this is A Bad Thing. It shouldn’t have happened and the appropriate punitive action deserves to be meted out.
To whom, though? Surprise surprise – the official line appears to be that a “junior member of staff” is responsible.
Please excuse my French, but: Bollocks. Absolute bollocks.
The only caveats I can offer in the interests of fairness are that I don’t work for the HMRC and don’t know what the precise definition of ‘junior’ being used is (it could mean anything if you really wanted it to). There are pretty weak disclaimers, though. I do not believe, not even for a moment, that anyone in a normal everyday job (you know, a normal person. The sort of person you could reasonably describe as a ‘junior member of staff’. For those in the game, I’m looking at AA/AO/EO grades; for those that aren’t, I mean the filing & photocopying type of workers/the actual processing & dealing with customer type workers/the team-leader sorts) would have the sufficient access to this information that you’d need to burn it onto a disk. I don’t really believe that the next couple of grades upwards in the seniority rankings would, either. As I say, ‘maybe’ the HMRC is different to the DWP. I don’t believe it, though.
Things have gone horribly wrong, of that there is no question. The fact that they’ve admitted to it happening doesn’t mean they’re telling the truth, though. I’m completely confident in saying that the fault here lies somewhere higher up than a ‘junior’ member of staff.
You always have to blame it on the ordinary workers though, don’t you?
There may be another (smaller) scandal imminently about to take place, anyway. I’m not sure yet. Add the actual to the potential, though, and you have government-deposing-material.