The British secret service could be forced to cancel plans for the refurbishment of its headquarters in London after floor plans have gone missing.
The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, sacked building contractor Balfour Beatty after it misplaced around 100 sensitive documents some two weeks ago.
The news broke earlier this week that the UK government is considering the incident as a gross security breach as the planning documents might fall into enemy hands.
There is no evidence, however, that the papers, which detail layout and security measures, have been obtained by criminals or foreign agents.
The SIS will reportedly launch a review of its relations with external contractors to tighten their security protocols.
The planning documents were created by Balfour Beatty and access to them was supposed to be restricted to a small group of supervisors in charge of the refurbishment.
A fortnight ago, the documents disappeared from a secure room.
Most of the papers have since reportedly been found elsewhere in the building.
The MI6, however, is considering a review the refurbishment for security reasons, despite the fact that the papers were not classified but nonetheless deemed ‘highly sensitive’.
“A lot of the work was sub-contracted and there were around 40 workers on the job. Security was supposed to be incredibly tight,” a source told the Sun newspaper.
“The importance of security was drummed into the contractors—but clearly not taken on board.”
The SIS building at Vauxhall Cross, which was portrayed in several James Bond films, opened in 1994.
Also known as Babylon on Thames, the 252,497 sq ft block was designed by architect Terry Farrell and Partners.
It was inspired by 1930s modernist structures such as Battersea Power Station and Mayan and Aztec religious temples.
Balfour Beatty declined to comment.