Feds lose $5m of laptops

Telstra is the worst offender, losing 552 laptops in the past year valued at over $3million. Telstra represented one third of the total payouts for laptop insurance claims in Australia for that period.

Only 126 were reported stolen - the rest (462) were just reported “lost”.

The laptops were reported lost and stolen during the period from January 1, 1999 to July 1, 2000.

The survey of missing computer equipment was prepared by Shadow Minister for Public Administration and Government Services, John Faulkner, who raised the matter with the IT Minister Richard Alston in Parliament.

“He suggested that if anybody had a few spare minutes they could ask the cleaning ladies where the laptops might be,” said Mr Faulkner.

“Senator Alston’s contempt for this serious matter indicates he is out of touch with Australians when it comes to the outrageous loss of expensive electronic equipment.”

The next worst offender was the Department of Defence, with 54 lost and 73 stolen (value $571,500), of which 13 had classified documents, 10 had restricted information and three had commercially sensitive information.

The Industry Science and Resources Department was the next worst offender with 12 “lost” and 51 reported stolen (value of $350,280).

Family and Community Services reported two lost and 32 stolen value at $85,000.

Even the Federal Police reported four stolen, while the Office of Director of Prosecutions “lost” three with confidential documents on two of them.

The Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet lost three and had seven stolen ($43,940), the Department of the Environment had 22 stolen, Health lost three and had 19 stolen, Australia Post had 12 stolen, Maritime safety lost three and had 11 stolen, Air Services Australia lost two and had 27 stolen, and the Australian Tax Office lost five and had 26 stolen.

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