[holding answer 23 November 2006]: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are bound by a legal duty of confidentiality that restricts them from disclosing information to any third party, including other Government Departments.
Disclosures of information can only be made by HMRC in the very prescribed circumstances set out in statute. For disclosures to Government Departments these prescribed circumstances will normally be the consent of the person to whom the information relates or where legislation specifically authorises such a disclosure of information, (known as “gateways”) and HMRC have gateways with each of the Departments referred to in the hon. Gentleman’s inquiry.
HMRC will not take final decisions on the future of any individual office until after the completion of the consultation period in each region. Ahead of final decisions being taken, it is possible that some work currently undertaken in individual offices will change. Where work is moved to another location, other work of a similar skill and grade requirement will be directed to the office.
The Review Programme announced by HMRC on 16 November 2006 confirmed its commitment to undertake consultation with staff before final decisions are taken on any office closure.
Proposals for each review will be widely communicated to staff through a variety of means—the staff intranet, written communications, and direct communications from managers.
A report outlining the responses to the consultation exercise for each review will be made available to all staff and sent to MPs with a constituency in the area.
The current cash equivalent transfer value for the acting chairman is £1,704,650.
The current total cash equivalent transfer value for the 10 highest paid HM Revenue and Customs staff is £5,363,179. Five of these individuals are named in the Annual Report and Resource Accounts and cash equivalent transfer value of their public sector pensions is therefore reported annually. This information is already in the public domain.