Wrong delivery for Navy sub details
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
An engineering company working with the MoD accidentally sent confidential information that included detailed information on Britain's nuclear powered submarine fleet to a metal ornaments firm.
Lecky Metal Ornaments Ltd in Derbyshire received a delivery of 12 boxes yesterday morning from Atkins, a design and engineering firm that works with the MoD. The boxes were addressed to Lecky.
When staff opened them they found the boxes full of detailed information on the submarine fleet, armoured vehicles and data and blueprints for MoD buildings and facilities.
Such information could be worth millions on the black market and could have caused a major security crisis had it fallen into the wrong hands.
It is not known whether the submarine details included the new Astute class submarines or the Vanguard class subs which carry Britain's nuclear deterrent since further details of what the documents contained have not been reported.
Lecky staff reported that inside the boxes there were labels warning that the information was restricted and that it should not be opened by unauthorised personnel.
One staffer told the local media that the restricted information warning should have printed the information on the outside of the box to prevent the openings in the first place.
Fortunately the information is now being sent to the right place.
"We take matters like this very seriously and we are investigating this with our supplier," a spokesperson for Atkins said.
The MoD promised a thorough investigation into the matter.
"We take any reports of this kind extremely seriously and we are investigating urgently.
"Until we have additional information about the data it would be inappropriate to comment further," a MoD spokesperson said.
It is unclear how sensitive information on the submarine fleet and MoD facilities was sent to the wrong address and why such large amounts of restricted information was being manually sent in the first place.
The delivery is the latest in a long line of data gaffes involving the MoD. Last week it emerged that the MoD had lost 28 laptops in the last year, some of which had sensitive or restricted data on them.