Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Examining Accounts: Computer Generated Records: Handling of Disks, Tapes etc

Where information is supplied to you on computer media or removable storage facility such as CD, DVD or memory stick, there are some immediate steps you need to take. These steps reduce the risk of accidental corruption of the data, and the risk to HMRC equipment from computer viruses. Interrogation of the original disk or tape should be avoided. On receipt of computer media, you must

  • write protect the memory storage unit - on floppy disks this is done by sliding the small plastic square at the bottom corner of the disk. Most forms of magnetic media contain such a switch. This ensures that the content cannot be overwritten or altered
  • check the unit for viruses. If your virus checker software indicates that a virus is present contact Information Management Services (IMS). Do not attempt to copy, clean or repair, or take any action with the unit until you have done so
  • at the earliest opportunity, upload taxpayer data via a secure workstation into the secure network area where the data will be interrogated
  • keep the original copy secure (preferably in lockable storage) until a time when it can be safely disposed of or returned to the taxpayer.
  • keep a record of all actions involving the unit, from the time of receipt.

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

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

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

Handling of disks etc supplied by informants, and in cases of serious fraud

In any case where

  • information is supplied by an informant on computer media, or
  • you suspect serious fraud and information has been supplied on computer media

it is important that you submit the case to the Evasion Referral Team (ERT), immediately.

Do not introduce such media to any computer, or take any steps to make copies, before you have submitted the case to ERT, they will determine who should deal with the case. Keep a full record of all actions taken since the time of receipt.

It is imperative that the content of the computer media is not compromised by `casual’ interrogation of its content or by its location and storage. If information held on computer media is subsequently used in Court Proceedings it may be necessary to provide details of the actions taken with it, including the interrogation procedures, security and transit arrangements. A Witness Statement may be required from everyone who handled the media.