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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Government departments and health authorities: Contracted Out Services (COS) Headings: COS Heading 69 - Typing secretarial, telephonist and clerical services including agency staff

This heading covers the outsourcing of typing, secretarial, telephonist and clerical service functions.  It does not include the hire of typists, secretaries, administration staff and agency staff, for example to fill short-term vacancies or supplement existing staff levels during busy periods.


The words ‘including agency staff’ needs to be read in the context of the whole sentence, rather than in isolation. The agency staff referred to in the heading are those of the company supplying outsourced typing, secretarial, telephonist and clerical services.



  • Provision of typing services by a word processing bureau



  • Secondees
  • Employee expenses
  • Hire of telephones, telephone lines, switchboard equipment etc.
  • The hire of agency staff - for example, to fill long-term or short-term vacancies