Welsh Government papers found in Pembrokeshire hedge

There is a call for the Welsh Government to review its security procedures after documents were found in a hedge in Pembrokeshire.

They listed payments adding up to hundreds of thousands of pounds, and were found in an envelope in Eglwyswrw, near Cardigan.

The payments were to the drug advisory service Cais, G4 Security, Newport council and Dyfed-Powys Police.

The Welsh Government said it had launched an immediate investigation.

The envelope, addressed to the Welsh Government's offices in Llandudno, were handed to Preseli Pembrokeshire assembly member Paul Davies by a member of the public, Mair Rees.

The documents were marked "restricted".

Mr Davies is calling on Welsh Government ministers to urgently assess the way sensitive documents are transported.

He said he was sending the papers to the First Minister Carwyn Jones.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The Welsh Government has launched an immediate investigation to establish the circumstances in which the mail was found.

"Initial inquiries show that the package was sent via the UK government's internal mail service, Government Mail, which we use to deliver internal post between various Welsh and UK government offices throughout Wales and the UK.

"We take the security of our information very seriously, and our inquiries are continuing."

Government Mail is part of the Government Car and Despatch Agency, an agency of the UK Department of Transport.

In 2009, it was revealed that 16 items of lost or stolen documents from the Welsh Government had been recorded since 2006.

Ten of the losses classed as medium to low risk, including a laptop, took place in 2008, according to details obtained by the Conservative Party.

The missing data said to be of medium risk included a briefcase of "various papers" left on a train.

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