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Over 400 FSA staff rapped for failing to keep sensitive information safe

Between August 2008 and December 2011, 461 members of staff at the Financial Services Authority were issued warnings for failing to adhere to the regulator’s clear desk policy, which involves keeping sensitive information safe.

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.

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  • Doctor SP 8th June 2012 at 11:29 am

    One can only assume that ‘Dazed and Confused’ at 10:09am is trotting out the usual boring, boring FSA bashing… Yawn.

    I love the inference in the statement “Fascinating that so many have been given stern warnings”, when nowhere in the article does it even mention that.

    But as so often on these messageboards, why let facts get in the way of a good moan???

  • anonymous 8th June 2012 at 11:16 am

    Dazed & confused, Have you heard of the Information Commissioners Office? By the way I think your name really suits you; don’t go and change it will you.

    anonymous @ 8.40am

  • Dazed & Confused 8th June 2012 at 10:09 am

    One can only assume that ‘anonymous’ at 08.40 is an FSA employee!!

    Once again the ‘Eye’ goes where few journos dare to tread…picking holes in what happens in the FSA’s corridors of power. Fascinating that so many have been given stern warnings, but not much else seems to have happened. Can you imagine just how brokers would have been castigated if the FSA insisted that all brokers followed a ‘clear desk policy’ and one of us made the cardinal error of leaving a file on a desk overnight??

    Still…don’t do as we do, just do as we say. Oh, and while you are at it pay us a shed more cash so we can continue to screw you into the ground.

    When will someone in power realise that this lot are just enjoying life on the gravy train…bring back the MCCB, LAUTRO et al!

  • James 8th June 2012 at 9:41 am

    ‘Don’t do as I do, do as I say’ comes to mind here. It doesn’t really matter what the FSA or their staff get wrong they’re the FSA and accountable to nobody. It also proves that regardless of what checks and procedures you have in place individuals will always decide to disregard them. The FSA might keep that in mind when they’re jumping all over firms for small misdemeanours.

  • laurie 8th June 2012 at 8:45 am

    As long as the desks are clear that’s the main thing don’t worry about the state of the country’s finances – at they have their priorities in order.

  • Dean Ratore 8th June 2012 at 8:40 am

    How sad a life the journalist must have. What next, how many loo breaks staff are taking and what this is costing in time/fees?
    Is there not more important things to report on?