To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the property belonging to his Department that has (a) been stolen and (b) been reported lost in each year since 1997, broken down by type of article.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains an inventory system that comprises a fixed asset register and a non-financial asset inventory worth £1,237,864,000 (2003–04 figures). This covers FCO property held in FCO buildings in the UK and at all overseas missions. The fixed asset register is subject to verification by the FCO Home Estates Department (for the UK) and by overseas missions, usually twice a year. There is a £3,000 threshold for recording centrally FCO fixed assets, which meets FCO fixed assets policy and follows government guidelines. Details of property worth less than £3,000 are only kept by the relevant custodians.
All FCO entrances are guarded on a 24/7 basis. Most FCO non Information and Communications Technology (ICT) property worth more than £3,000 have electronic security tags. Very heavy and bulky items worth more than £3,000 are not electronically tagged but, given the 24/7 guarding arrangements, the chances of the theft of these items is very limited. Since 1997, there have been no reports of lost or stolen FCO non ICT items worth more than £3,000.
FCO ICT items are recorded using a bar code system. £4,100 worth of FCO ICT equipment was reported lost in 2004 when we started formally to record these figures. The four items lost were worth less than £3,000 each.