A freedom of information request made by Private Eye magazine shows the staff members were rapped for failing to keep their desks in order, thereby creating a “risk of internal loss of information”.
The magazine reports that the regulator regularly carries out clear desk audits and security staff do nightly sweeps to check for laptops that are not locked away.
Under the FSA’s clear desk policy, FSA staff must tidy their desks and the area around their desk every day. They also need to make sure that all classified or sensitive documents and materials are not be left unattended in a way that makes it easy for unauthorised persons to read or take copies.
Since 2008 disciplinary action has been taken against 27 officials, but fewer than 10 were dismissed and none before 2010. Most received warnings, including 11 in 2009.
Compared with the 27 disciplinary actions over poor performance, there were 36 disciplinary actions for misconduct relating to behaviour of non-compliance with the FSA staff policies and procedures.
Officials did, however, escape the wrath of the FSA when it came to the failures that led to the government bailout of the Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS. As the magazine highlights, no FSA official was found to have breached the procedural policies prevailing at the time.