MI5 staff who lack computer skills made redundant
Published: 12th Apr 2010 12:19:27
MI5 is ditching staff who lack computer skills in a programme of compulsory and voluntary redundancies.
The Intelligence and Security Committee said the service had been reviewing its staff profile and one area of concern was the level of IT skills.
MI5 director general Jonathan Evans told the committee: "I think some of the staff perhaps aren't quite the ones that we will want for the future."
It also said MI5 faced cuts because of the state of the public finances.
Patrick Mercer, chairman of Parliament's counter-terrorism sub-committee, backed the move over computer skills.
He said: "As terrorism changes, counter-terrorism officers have to adapt to keep up.
"Our enemies use every available method to attack including using technology.
"We have to be aware of the imminent threats of cyber attacks and the old generation of MI5 have to be completely comfortable using computers and the latest technology."
Mr Mercer added: "There is no room now for the 'old school tie' or recruitment from just certain Oxbridge colleges.
"We need people from all walks of life who can speak a range of languages and possess certain technical skills."
The committee oversees the work of the Security Service (MI5), Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
It reports directly to the prime minister, rather than Parliament, and its report is partially censored.
Computer security consultant Phil Robinson, who has worked with the government, said he was surprised by the move.
"I know a lot of people who are over 60 who are quite capable of using Facebook and Twitter," he said.
"A six-year-old can use them, so I'm sure a 60-year-old can."
"It's important to have computer skills in that line of work, and the UK security services are full of people who have got good computer skill-sets."
"But it's an essential part of most jobs. Just to pick out MI5 is a bit bizarre."
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. MI5 staff who lack computer skills made redundant [Online] (Updated 12th Apr 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/51177/MI5-staff-who-lack-computer-skills-made-redundant [Accessed 10th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
Apple has unveiled its new iPhone technology for cars at the Geneva Motor Show.
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
A hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
There is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
The sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
A man in his 40s has been injured during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery in County Down.