The data protection minister, Michael Wills, today said it was "too soon" to judge whether HM Revenue & Customs had been guilty of "systemic failure" in losing the personal information of 25 million people.
His comments came as police continued to search for the two CDs, containing child benefit data relating to 7.25 million families, which have been missing since a HMRC junior manager posted the discs to the National Audit Office on October 18.
Appearing before the joint committee on human rights, Wills said there were a "number of reasons" why he was not told about the loss of data before Alistair Darling's Commons statement.
Asked by the committee chair, the Labour MP Andrew Dismore, if he agreed with the Tories' accusation that HMRC was guilty of "systemic failure", he said:
"It's far too soon for me to be able to judge that. It's certainly wrong, deeply regrettable and the prime minister has already apologised for it."
Committee members expressed incredulity that Wills, as data protection minister, was not told about the problem before it was revealed in Parliament.
Source The Guardian
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