… … The Balfour deprivation. 😉
Oh SIS, you’re all worrying far too much. You see, you can’t lose, what you’ve never lost.
Well… do you ever lie, awake at night…
Top secret MI6 papers revealing blueprints of spy HQ VANISH as it’s warned documents will be ‘gold dust’ for criminals
- Mike Sullivan, Crime Editor
TOP-secret planning documents of MI6’s HQ have gone missing in a shocking security gaffe.
More than 100 papers, detailing layout and security measures, vanished from the building, which has featured in James Bond films like Skyfall.
One source said last night: “To lose such sensitive documents was grossly irresponsible.”
Furious chiefs investigated before terminating Balfour Beatty’s contract on the multi-million pound refurbishment project.
It comes after the new Tory Government last week announced proposals to strengthen UK security against foreign spies and hackers.
The secret documents were supposed to have been kept in a secure room during work at the HQ of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) — better known as MI6.
Access was said to have been limited to a small number of supervisors overseeing the refurb.
But the alarm was raised a fortnight ago when stacks of the documents vanished at the building, which has featured in several James Bond films and was “destroyed” in Spectre.
One source said: “The whole building went into lockdown and all the construction workers were kept in isolation.
“To lose such sensitive documents was grossly irresponsible.
“They showed the layout of the building and specifically where alarms and other security measures were. The documents would be gold dust to any enemy agents or terrorists.”
The Sun understands senior execs from Balfour Beatty were brought in to explain the breach.
The papers were not classified, but were deemed to be highly sensitive due to their content.
Many were later found still inside the building at Vauxhall Cross, South London.
Some remain missing although spymasters are said to be confident they are not in enemy hands.
However, a decision was taken to terminate Balfour Beatty’s contract.
The source said: “A lot of the work was sub-contracted and there were around 40 workers on the job. Security was supposed to be incredibly tight. Workers and vehicles delivering materials
were thoroughly searched. The importance of security was drummed into the contractors — but clearly not taken on board.”
M16 is the foreign arm of the UK’s intelligence services. As well as espionage against hostile states, it plays a major role in tackling terrorism and cyber warfare.
Chinese and Russian agents are known to monitor the MI6 building, opened in 1994. The spy threat was highlighted last week when the Government proposed making it a specific criminal
Balfour Beatty is the largest construction group in the UK and last year had a £7billion turnover.
The source added: “The decision to terminate their contract would not have been taken lightly. But it was clearly felt they had let the side down.”
Balfour Beatty declined to comment. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is responsible for MI6, said: “We do not comment on intelligence matters.’’
MI6 floor plans lost by building contractor
- 27 December 2019
Floor plans of MI6’s central London headquarters were lost by building contractors during a refurbishment.
The documents, most of which were recovered inside the building, held sensitive information on the layout, including entry and exit points.
Balfour Beatty, the company working on the refurbishment at the headquarters in Vauxhall, is reportedly no longer working on the project.
The Foreign Office said it did not comment on intelligence matters.
The documents, which went missing a few weeks ago, were produced and owned by Balfour Beatty and designed to be used for the refurbishment.
The contractor kept the plans on the site at Vauxhall Cross in a secure location.
BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera said the missing plans were not classified or intelligence documents, but the pages did hold sensitive details.
Most, but not all, of the documents were recovered inside the building after it was noticed they were missing, he said.
Balfour Beatty said it could not comment because of sensitivities.
The incident, first reported by the Sun newspaper , is reportedly a result of carelessness, rather than any hostile activity.
Balfour Beatty mainly carries out work in the UK, US and Hong Kong and has 26,000 employees worldwide, according to the company’s website.
The BBC reported earlier this month that Balfour Beatty’s order book for 2019 was expected to be more than £14bn – “significantly higher” than 2018’s £12.6bn book.