More than $1 million in federal government property is missing or stolen – Ottawa Citizen
It seems federal public servants just can’t seem to hold on to their government-issued laptops.
Documents tabled in the House of Commons recently show federal employees reported dozens of laptops stolen last year, along with a host of other items that included tablet devices, diesel fuel, numerous tablet devices, a $329 set of earphones – and a mysterious piece of military equipment valued at more than $280,000.
There were also numerous cases of government property being vandalized or destroyed, according to the Public Accounts report. All told, more than $1.1 million worth of public property was stolen or illegally damaged in the 2014-15 fiscal year. More than $800,000 was considered lost forever.
Laptops were by far the favoured target of thieves, with 54 stolen over the course of the year. Environment Canada alone reported 12 cases of laptops being stolen. Those computers were valued at nearly $18,832. The Public Health Agency of Canada reported eight laptops pilfered, while Finance Canada reported five.
The Public Accounts report does not go into whether any of those laptops contained sensitive information. But the federal government has in the past struggled with data breaches and concerns about losing public and private information.
Among the other notable items reported stolen from the government:
• More than $1,575 worth of diesel from Agriculture Canada;
• Two outboard motors from Environment Canada worth a total of $4,755;
• $65,857 worth of equipment from Parks Canada;
• A pair of earphones from Health Canada worth $329;
• A pair of headphones from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency worth $25;
• Two sets of windshield wipers from CFIA worth a total of $119;
• Three weapons and accessories from National Defence worth a total of $340;
• And what was described as “information technology equipment and computer peripheral” from National Defence, which was valued at $281,094. Details were not immediately available.
National Defence also reported 284 pieces of combat clothing, worth a total of $28,801, as having been stolen. Such filched military equipment has previously raised concerns about possible security threats, with fears that Islamic State (ISIL) sympathizers or other non-military personnel could use it for nefarious purposes.
A number of other departments and agencies, notably CFIA and the Canada Border Services Agency, also reported stolen uniforms or identification badges.
Arson was also a problem for the federal government. Transport Canada reported two buildings having been destroyed by fire, with their combined value assessed at $120,504. The report did not say where the buildings were located, or why they were set on fire.
Arsonists also destroyed some environmental monitoring equipment at Environment Canada, which was worth $57,250. Meanwhile, there were 146 cases in which inmates caused damage to Correctional Service of Canada property. The total value of the damage was $88,577.
Vandals also seemed drawn like moths to government-owned vehicles. The report says there were 96 instances of Crown vehicles being intentionally damaged. CFIA alone reported 31 cases in which a total of $18,276 in damage was caused. The RCMP came next with 37 cases worth $88,577.