Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: National Audit Office (NAO)
The National Audit Office (NAO) is an independent public body which scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament. The NAO audits the accounts of all central government departments and agencies, including HMRC. It reports to Parliament on matters such as the efficiency and effectiveness with which HMRC has used public money.
The NAO has a right of access to documents and materials which it reasonably requires to carry out its functions in relation to HMRC.
Procedure to follow
If you receive a request for information from the NAO (which should be in writing), you should ask them to provide a clear explanation of which of their audits it relates to and why they want to see the documents they have requested. You should then refer the request to the HMRC designated contact point (business co-ordinator) for that audit topic and ensure the disclosure is cleared with a senior manager and your directorate’s Data Guardian. Where possible you should make the information available for NAO to review at HMRC premises. You should consult Julie Calloway for advice on this process (see IDG80100 for contact details).
Legislation which allows disclosure
- Section 8 National Audit Act 1983
Confidentiality of HMRC’s information on passing to NAO
All NAO Staff have a statutory duty of confidentiality under Section 182 Finance Act 1989. As such NAO may only disclose information obtained under Section 8 National Audit Act 1983 in strictly defined circumstances. HMRC Staff should ensure NAO are fully aware of the restrictions on disclosure and consult Information Strategy where required. See IDG80100 for contact details.
For further guidance on working with NAO please see the NAO liaison pages.