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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: types of compliance checks: joint working with other government agencies: sharing information

When you work with another government department, agency or public authority and share information you must ensure that any disclosure of information is lawful. You must check before disclosing information that there is an appropriate Information Disclosure Gateway with the other agency, see IDG40320.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) does not create a lawful means for exchange of information. It documents the processes and procedures agreed between two public sector bodies, see IDG40230.

When disclosing information you must follow the agreed procedures and keep a full record of the disclosure, see IDG40210.

Any disclosure must comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act and must therefore be necessary, reasonable and proportionate see IDG40140 for further guidance on HRA or IDG40160 for DPA. The Gateway Exchange Team (GET) responds to requests for HMRC information and exchanges information with UK Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and Other Government Departments (OGDs). Where you are involved in a joint operation requiring regular exchange of information you will require a separate MOU in line with the External Data Exchange (EDE) project.

If you find information during a compliance check that would assist another government agency looking at illegal working, you can make a spontaneous disclosure where a gateway exists. GET will process spontaneous disclosures of information from HMRC to LEAs.