Insolvency Service
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Theft of laptops from the Insolvency Service

Theft of laptops from the Insolvency Service

INSOLVENCY SERVICE News Release (Ins/Coms 25) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 17 September 2008

The Insolvency Service has today written to all those who it believes may be affected by the theft of IT equipment from its Manchester offices.

The theft of four laptop computers has been reported to Greater Manchester police, who are investigating.

Three of the computers contained no data. The fourth laptop computer contained personal information about the former directors of 122 companies which had become insolvent. It also contains some information about other persons who had had some connection with these companies.

The information consisted of documents sent to The Insolvency Service by insolvency practitioners who act as administrators, receivers or liquidators of insolvent companies. The documents, which are required to be sent by law, included information about the activities of company directors which the insolvency practitioner considers may give cause for concern.

Those affected include:

* the named former company directors
* the insolvency practitioners who submitted the relevant documents
* other individuals identified in the documents, including creditors, complainants, investors and employees.

The Insolvency Service is working with Greater Manchester Police to try to recover the computers that were stolen from its premises. The Insolvency Service has provided dedicated telephone lines for persons who may be concerned about this loss of data. For further information refer to the contact information on the 'Contact Us' section of the Insolvency Service website http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/contactus/contact.htm

Notes to Editors

1. The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime. It investigates all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) to establish the causes of failure. The Service also:

* authorises and regulates the insolvency profession;

* deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures;

* assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees;

* provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds;

* carries out confidential company investigations through its Companies Investigation Branch; and

* advises Ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

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