Home Office Shredders

What’s really amazing about the arrest of Opposition Immigration Minister Damian Green isn’t simply that such a thing has happened in a supposed democracy (though I’ve long maintained that the UK isn’t a democracy) but the simple existence of any Home Office documents available for him to leak in the first place! Green is accused of disclosing to the public Home Office crime statistics and how thousands of illegal immigrants were granted licenses to work in the security industry. Hardly matters of national security – yet he was arrested by nine counter-terrorism officers who also searched his home and work-place and seized phones and computers.

It’s hard enough to get anything like accurate empirical data out of Government. So full praise for Mr Green for bringing important matters of public interest to our attention. A democracy is meant to be comprised of an informed electorate. If this government isn’t busy shredding facts then the next best thing seems to be to arrest those who expose them.

The number of shredders purchased by the Home Office for the last 5 years.

Date: Wed Feb 22 00:00:00 GMT 2006

How many shredders has the Department bought for the last 5 years, how much did they cost and when were they purchased providing all information detailing the reasons for the purchases.

Response

Shredders provided in 2005 for the Department’s HQ relocation to 2 Marsham Street were supplied by Anne’s Gate Property plc within the scope of their overall PFI contract for the provision of accommodation services. There are around 42 shredders in 2 Marsham Street for 3,500 staff.

Their purchase cost to AGP is not known, nor is the very small element of the monthly PFI charge that notionally relates to the costs of shredders. The shredders are provided for the destruction of privacy marked papers which are not required to be archived. This can be for a number of reasons including the retention of electronic copies and destruction of duplicates.

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