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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Files: lost files

If a file cannot be found in the location it is marked to on ALF the Registry will carry out searches to see if it can be found. They will usually check holding racks and the off-site store as part of these checks. If the file is not found as a result of the initial checks, an email will be issued to all staff asking them to search their work areas and cupboards for the file. If you receive a ‘lost file’ email you must check your own desk, and cupboards to make sure you have not got the file. Managers should make sure that work areas belonging to staff who are not in the office at the time are also searched thoroughly. If the file is still not found the Registry may carry out further deep searches of certain work areas. Losing a file is a potential breach of security and causes embarrassment and expense for the office, so it important that all staff take the loss of any file seriously. If you are asked to look for a missing file you must do this promptly and thoroughly.

Once it is accepted that the file is lost, the Registry will try to reconstruct the file. They will mark the file ‘reconstructed’. The reconstructed file must be dealt with quickly at all stages.