§ Ms Lynne
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many employees of(a) the Benefits Agency and (b) the Contributions Agency have faced dismissal or other disciplinary action for the improper use of confidential information since 1993; and what steps these agencies are taking to minimise the misuse of confidential information. 
§ Mr. Burt
Two employees of the Benefits Agency and one from the Contributions Agency have been dismissed for the improper use of confidential information since 1993. Disciplinary action has been taken against a further five employees of the Benefits Agency. These figures do not include possible incidents of staff being disciplined, including dismissal, for the improper use of confidential information arising out of unauthorised access to the agencies' computer systems. The statistics for unauthorised access to computer systems do not include information about whether the unauthorised access resulted in the improper use of confidential information.
Access to computer systems is limited to the minimum possible to enable staff to carry out their duties and security check and audit trail functionality systems are in place to investigate suspected unauthorised access. In addition, information to staff through personnel codes, letters from the agencies' chief executives and a recent leaflet and poster campaign underline the importance of security of information and the seriousness with which unauthorised access to computer systems is viewed.