Fraud office vows to clean up its risk rules after data loss scandals

Tim Wallace
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THE SERIOUS Fraud Office (SFO) yesterday vowed to improve controls after losing thousands of pages of evidence on its BAE Systems investigation and briefly mislaying others in its probe into the Tchenguiz brothers.

Last week the crime investigation agency revealed it returned 32,000 pages and 81 audio tapes on the BAE case to the wrong source, and it emerged yesterday that it mislaid papers on the Tchenguiz probe.

The property investor brothers are suing the agency for damages following the collapse of the inquiry, which saw the pair arrested – an incident later ruled unlawful.

“Any loss of data is a serious matter and the SFO has taken action to ensure no further material can be wrongly sent out,” the agency said.

“The director has instigated a wide-ranging independent review of all the organisation’s business processes by Alan Woods, a former senior civil servant.”

After an initial review the agency is allocating responsibility for data in each case to specific staff, re-writing the rules for the senior risk information officer and raising the profile of data handling internally as a key risk for the SFO.