HM Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Treasury written question – answered on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer

(1) what security checks staff employed by Sitel and Teleperformance at HM Revenue and Customs contact centres are subject to;

(2) what steps HM Revenue and Customs is taking to establish whether staff employed by Sitel and Teleperformance at its contact centres have undergone appropriate security checks.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

HM Government's Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) is the pre-employment control check for all civil servants, members of the armed forces, and private sector employees working on Government contracts, it is a check of identity, employment history, nationality and immigration status, and criminal record (unspent convictions).

HMRC have required—as a contractual condition—that both service providers comply with the BPSS in respect of all persons employed or engaged in the provision of the services under the contract. In addition to the BPSS, HMRC have also required a criminal record check of spent convictions and a credit reference check be undertaken by the providers. These additional checks over and above the BPSS, mirror those currently made of all people seeking direct employment with HMRC.

It is a further contractual condition that the service provider warrants that the checks specified in the BPSS have been carried out and that the results of those checks are satisfactory. HMRC undertakes robust audit and assurance activities to satisfy itself that the required checks have been completed and the required standards met.

A copy of the BPSS is available on the Cabinet Office website at:

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