The Irish legal system has deployed the ultimate weapon in the war against inadvertent loss of confidential data - a foolproof system of outside contractors coupled to shredders which ensures that no potentially sensitive information is ever read by anyone.
In a successful test run of the new scheme last week, all of the mail delivered to Dublin's Four Courts on Tuesday was destroyed without being opened. The Courts Service later attributed the trashing to "an outside contractor [who] mistakenly added two bags of mail to bags of documents for shredding".
The service is now rather marvellously "asking people who may have sent post to the Four Courts in the past few days to find out whether it was received or not", as RTÉ explains.
It did, however, assure the public that at no time was sensitive material in danger of doing an HMRC, and confirmed "there has not been a breach of confidentiality as all of the post was shredded".
It works for us, and we're sure that as we speak Alistair Darling is thumbing through shredder catalogues and keenly eyeing portable disc incinerator websites. ®
Thanks to Tristan Corry-White for the heads-up. For those of you not up to speed on Irish courts, the Four in question were previously the Courts of Chancery, Exchequer, Kings Bench and Common Pleas, now less glamorously known as Courts 1, 2, 3 and 4.