Confidentiality when dealing with visitors, students and researchers: visitors to HMRC premises
Contractors and consultants
People who do not work for HMRC but who work for businesses that provide any form of service to the department will make a declaration of confidentiality. This includes:
- contractors, such as office cleaners or staff from companies providing IT services, and
- consultants, who may be civil servants in other government departments or employees of external companies.
The declaration requires them to state that they understand their duty of confidentiality and will not disclose any information they receive in the execution of duties in relation to HMRC, except for the purposes of those duties or in accordance with the departmental instructions see IDG90600.
If a contractor makes any unauthorised disclosure of confidential information they will be subject to the department’s criminal sanction for breach of confidentiality, see IDG40130.
Other visitors to HMRC offices
Students on ‘Work Experience Schemes’ may have access to confidential information at some time during their placement. They are therefore required to sign the declaration of confidentiality using the same form as contractors and consultants. It is important to explain the full significance of the declaration to them. See IDG70200 for the confidentiality issues surrounding students undertaking research in HMRC.
Bringing children to work
If schoolchildren visit the office on such schemes as ‘Bring your daughter to work’ and will see or use any confidential information (including being present at any meetings where such information is discussed) they must be asked to sign the contractor’s declaration.
There may be other times when you bring your child to the office. Obviously it is not sensible to present a pre-school age child with a declaration of confidentiality, but it is advisable to be aware that any children who have not signed the declaration should not have access to confidential information nor be allowed to use HMRC computers.
You should remember that as a parent you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your child, including any breach of customer confidentiality.
Further information or advice is available from Human Resources (see IDG80100).
Contact your Data Guardian if you have any further queries.