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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: National Crime Agency (formerly Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is a UK wide crime-fighting agency. It has national and international reach, and is committed to leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime.

The NCA has four commands. Each works closely with various agencies to deliver shared priorities:

  • The Organised Crime Command - ensures that all organised crime groups are subject to a prioritised level of operational response.
  • The Border Policing Command - tackles threats arising from cross-border criminal activity and conducts activity overseas on behalf of UK law enforcement.
  • The Economic Crime Command - focuses on the collective response to economic crime threats including fraud, bribery and corruption and money laundering.
  • The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command - focuses on the protection of children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

The NCA has also created a centre of expertise for cyber crime through the establishment of a National Cyber Crime Unit.

The functions of the Asset Recovery Agency were transferred to SOCA and subsequently to the NCA by the Serious Crime Act 2007. These include the civil recovery powers provided by Part 6 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2007 which enable the NCA to undertake tax investigation functions (referred to as “Revenue” functions). Disclosures made by HMRC to the NCA for HMRC functions must only be made by the National Co-ordination Unit (NCU).  Contact details can be found at IDG80100.

Legislation which allows disclosure

Section 7 and Schedule 7 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (CCA)

HMRC can disclose information to the NCA under the legal gateway provided by Section 7 of the CCA. Section 7 and Schedule 7 CCA allow any information held by HMRC to be disclosed to the NCA if the disclosure is made for the purposes of the exercise by NCA of any of its functions, and allow NCA onward disclosure of that information for the purposes of its functions, but only with the consent of HMRC.

Schedule 7 CCA also contains a criminal offence for wrongful disclosure of HMRC information by NCA. Any information that is disclosed should be necessary, relevant and proportionate to ensure that it meets the requirements of the DPA and the Human Rights Act.

Devolved assemblies

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, responsibility for policing and criminal justice are devolved matters. As a UK-wide agency, the NCA adapts to the different operational, legislative and political environments within these jurisdictions to ensure it is correctly placed to contribute to the fight against serious and organised criminal activity across the whole of the UK.

Further guidance

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