In the Independent newspaper on Sunday today, a report that reveals an internal investigation at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has found that civil servants are colluding with organised criminals to steal personal identities on "an industrial scale".
Ministers have been privately warned that the investigation will show that hundreds of thousands of stolen personal details have been ripped off from official databases, often with inside help. Key personal details such as national insurance numbers can be used to commit benefit fraud, set up false bank accounts and obtain official documents such as passports.
The Independent comments: "Figures published last week show there were 100,000 offences under the Data Protection Act in the DWP and Revenue and Customs between 2000 and 2004. Neither department will release the figures for Trident, set up in 2004."