SFO admits BAE Systems data leak

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) sent 32,000 documents relating to an investigation into BAE Systems to the wrong place — and did not realise its mistake for up to a year.

The Attorney General today confirmed the loss consisted of 81 audio tapes and other electronic media relating to the SFO’s case against BAE Systems, which saw the items accidentally delivered to the wrong address.

An SFO spokersperson confirmed in a statement released today that it was dealing with the issue, and the data concerned was obtained by the SFO in the course of its closed investigation into BAE Systems.

“The SFO has a duty to return material to those who supplied it, upon request, after the close of an investigation.  In this instance the party requesting the return was sent additional material which had in fact been obtained from other sources.

A BAE spokeswoman said that the company was concerned to learn of the incident but understood it had now been dealt with by the relevant authorities.

“Ultimately, this is a matter for the SFO and as far as BAE Systems is concerned it is now closed,” she said.