Of course it is not the first lot of data that has been lost, with some pensioners/annuitants having previously had names, address, income details and banking information stolen when a laptop and disks were lifted from a car.
I totally agree with the First Division Association (the union for Mandarins) who said:
Paul Gray was in no way personally responsible, but he has recognised that, as the most senior official in the department, the accountability ultimately lies with him.
But then it all goes horribly wrong, in the next sentence
His decision to take on this accountability is an example of British public service at its best.
Bollocks. Utter self-serving meaningless bollocks.
Losing 15 million records is an example of public service (sic) at its worst. However, his decision to take accountability - or fall on his own sword - is a fine example of taking responsibility; and one his masters in the House of Commons should note carefully.
Later thought: Are there really 15 million under-18's in the UK? According to National Statistics, about 20% of the population in 2006 was under 16, so it is probably a figure rounded to the nearest million and includes some who have just left the system.