Paul Gray, the chairman of Revenue and Customs, has resigned over a security failure within his department that led to the loss of 25 million child benefit records.
News of his resignation broke shortly before the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that the lost discs contained the personal records, including bank details, of up to 25 million child benefit claimants, which were lost in transit to the National Audit Office, the government's own financial watchdog.
Gray acknowledged in his resignation letter that HMRC still faced "some major issues where we need to do better" but made no explicit reference to HMRC's recent failures in protecting personal data.
Earlier this month HMRC admitted that it had lost a CD containing 15,000 names, national insurance numbers and dates of birth of thousands of holders of Standard Life pensions. The data was “lost in transit by HMRC’s external courier”, the agency said.
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