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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Why share information with the IPCC

The IPCC is an organisation that has overall responsibility for the system for complaints against the police. Additionally, from 1 April 2006 the IPCC has authority for investigating serious allegations made against HMRC. Secondary legislation (The Revenue and Customs (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2005) providing the IPCC with this authority came into effect on 28 December 2005.

Ensuring information is shared lawfully

All disclosures of HMRC information must be lawful. Please see IDG40300 for more information on lawful disclosure as provided by the CRCA.

To be lawful, HMRC may only share information with the Independent Police Complaints Commission through a legal gateway. See IDG40320 for general information about what a legal gateway is. The appropriate legal gateway to use is detailed below.

You must also ensure when passing information to the Independent Police Complaints Commission that you follow the agreed procedure for disclosures, set out below.

Which part of HMRC can disclose this information?

If you receive a request for information from the IPCC refer the matter to Internal Governance who support business areas in handling and investigating serious allegations. Internal Governance will take into account the role of the IPCC and liase between the department and the police/IPCC.

The purpose for which information may be disclosed

It is HMRC’s duty to provide any information requested by the IPCC in order to assist them in an investigation relating to allegations of criminal conduct or gross misconduct within HMRC. Depending on the circumstances, the IPCC may choose not to investigate directly, but instead decide to supervise or manage an investigation.

Information which can be disclosed

The information which can be disclosed is that which is necessary for the IPCC to effectively carry out its role. This may include information about named individuals and HMRC administrative arrangements, procedures and practices. Do not make any disclosure to the IPCC: all matters must be referred to Internal Governance.

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Procedure to follow

If approached directly by the IPCC immediately refer the matter to Internal Governance who will advise on the correct procedure to follow.

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Legislation which allows disclosure

  • Section 28 CRCA and Section 17 of the Police Reform Act 2002 as applied by Regulation 3(2) and Schedule 1 paragraph 8 of The Revenue and Customs (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/3311)

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Devolved administrations

The legislation only applies to the IPCC in so far as its functions are exercised in or in relation to England and Wales.

Separate provisions are being worked up within the Scottish Executive (and Procurator Fiscal) and the Northern Ireland Office (and Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland) to cover Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

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Further guidance

For guidance on working with the IPCC contact the Internal Governance team within HMRC, see IDG80100.

For further guidance and assistance generally on confidentiality please contact your Data Guardian.