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Revenue and Customs: Data Protection

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of incidents of staff misuse of customer data at HM Revenue and Customs; and by what means he plans to inform the public of such steps; (317294)

(2) what steps are being taken in respect of HM Revenue and Customs staff found to have misused customer data.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced a strategic objective to reduce incidences of customer data misuse by at least 75 per cent. between 2009 and 2012. The Department's planned actions to achieve this are set out in its annual business plan, with performance against the objective set out in its annual reports, both are available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/reports.htm

All instances of suspected misuse are thoroughly investigated and are subject to appropriate disciplinary action, with penalties up to and including dismissal and criminal action. All departmental staff must attend mandatory training to reinforce the consequences they face in the event of misusing customer data.