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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Customer contact and data security: telephone contact: Field Force/ distraint using the phone whilst out on call

Because Field Force officers work remotely, they are all supplied with equipment to enable them to do this, part of which is a mobile phone.

When out on call, there is often a need to use their phones, this could be because

  • they are attempting to contact a customer by phone that they have been unable to see face to face
  • they need to check case details, such as the total debt, payments etc with the HMRC office
  • they need to check their caseload with the office and so on.

Therefore certain precautions have to be taken whilst using their mobile phone.

As a working FF officer, you should be mindful not to use your mobile phone in a situation where you could be overheard by an unauthorised third party. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) DMBM512940(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

Once you have been verified you may need to discuss confidential customer information so when possible you should be in a private area and if you are aware that you may be overheard by third parties, you should get verbal consent from the customer that it is ok for you to make the call with others in ear shot.

If you need to make a call to a customer who you have been unable to see face to face, it is best, when possible, to do this is your car to avoid anyone else over hearing your conversation. If you need to leave answering machine message you should leave the correct message, see DMBM511200.

Occasionally you may find you receive a text message from a customer who has seen a missed call from you. You should not reply by text and instead call the number as it is important that you verify the caller.

You should always use general common sense when using your mobile phone, for example

  • Don’t give out your number unless you know that you are speaking to the customer or authorised person
  • Be aware of your personal security when using your mobile phone, always store your phone securely and never use your phone whilst driving.
  • You are permitted to use your mobile phone for personal use within reasonable limits, if you do, you should make a note of the call.
  • Don’t store any customer information, contacts or otherwise on your mobile phone
  • If your phone goes missing, report it immediately.
  • Always make sure your mobile phone is fully charged in preparation for your visits.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)