FOI release

Identity checks for contractors

Ref: 14292 We received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to identity checks carried out for contractors.  We released…

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Ref: 14292

We received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to identity checks carried out for contractors. 

We released the following information on 20 May 2010.

The background checks conducted to verify identity involve examination of the documents presented as part of the pre-employment process. Documents presented vary. but they will include a photo ID such as a passport and a proof of address such as a recent utility bill. Supplementary checks are made with the UK Passport service to verify passport details. No other checks are made with other government departments or commercial organisations, though their assistance may be sought in any investigation. For example, a case of false identity would be referred to the police.

The Home Office follows the Cabinet Office guidance on verifying identity, which can be found on page 14 of the document HMG baseline personnel security standard.

No single central record is kept of refusals due to false identity and to recover such data would be disproportionately expensive. Such cases are rare, and represent a very small proportion of refusals. They are not categorised.

Suppliers to the Home Office are appointed in line with EU regulations relating to public sector procurement, following fair and open competition. In competition EU regulations allow verification of a supplier through provision of the following information.
 
A supplier established in the United Kingdom or Ireland shall be treated as registered on the professional or trade register if the supplier:

  • is established in Ireland and is certified as registered with the Registrar of Friendly Societies; or
  • is established in either state and is either certified as incorporated by their respective Registrar of Companies, or is certified as having declared on oath that it is carrying on business in the trade in question in the state in which it - 
  • is established at a specific place of business and under a specific trading name.

A supplier established in a relevant state, other than the United Kingdom or Ireland, which either has an equivalent professional or trade register, or does not, shall be treated as registered on a professional or trade register on production of either a certificate that he is registered on the equivalent professional or trade register, or where no such register exists, a declaration on oath, (or in a relevant state which does not provide for a declaration on oath) a solemn declaration, made by the supplier before the relevant judicial, administrative or competent authority or a relevant notary public or commissioner for oaths, that he exercises the particular profession or trade.
 
In assessing whether a supplier meets any minimum standards of economic and financial standing required to determine which suppliers are to be invited to tender for or to negotiate a contract, the Home Office may take into account any of the following information:

  • appropriate statements from the suppliers bankers or where appropriate, evidence of relevant professional risk indemnity insurance
  • statements of accounts or extracts from those accounts relating to the business of the supplier where publication of the statement is required under the law of the relevant State in which the supplier is established; or
  • where appropriate, a statement, covering the 3 previous financial years of the supplier, of the overall turnover of the business of the supplier and, where appropriate, the turnover in respect of the work, works, goods or services which are of a similar type to the subject matter of the public contract.

Contractual requirements may stipulate that the supplier provides the Home Office with advance information on changes in nature, structure, officers, and shareholding.
 
The Home Office may treat as ineligible and not select any supplier if it has actual knowledge that the supplier or its directors or any other person who has powers of representation, decision or control of the supplier has been convicted of any of the following offences:

  • conspiracy within the meaning of section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 where that conspiracy relates to participation in a criminal organisation
  • corruption within the meaning of section 1 of the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889(c) or section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906(d) the offence of bribery
  • fraud, where the offence relates to fraud affecting the financial interests of the European Communities as defined by Article 1 of the Convention relating to the protection of the financial interests of the European Union, within the meaning of -
    (i)  the offence of cheating the Revenue
    (ii) the offence of conspiracy to defraud
    (iii) fraud or theft within the meaning of the Theft Act 1968(a) and the Theft Act 1978(b)
    (iv) fraudulent trading within the meaning of section 458 of the Companies Act 1985(c)
    (v) defrauding the Customs within the meaning of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979(d) and the Value Added Tax Act 1994(e)
    (vi) an offence in connection with taxation in the European Community within the meaning of section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993(f); or
    (vii) destroying, defacing or concealing of documents or procuring the extension of a valuable security within the meaning of section 20 of the Theft Act 1968; money laundering within the meaning of the Money Laundering Regulations 2003(g); or any other offence within the meaning of Article 45(1) of the Public Sector Directive as defined by the national law of any relevant state.

Date: Thu May 20 11:55:00 BST 2010