10.31 Storage generally
In most cases, after the insolvent’s records have been examined they can be boxed and stored, either on site or by the Service’s external storage contractors (see paragraph 10.32). In those offices where the official receiver retains the records on site, storage boxes should be labelled in such a way that their contents may be found and produced without difficulty. The location of the records should be recorded on LOIS in as much detail as possible and a copy of the SRHO should be placed in the first of the boxes to assist subsequent identification. If records are moved from boxes e.g. from Box 1 to Box 2 this movement of records must be recorded and the date on which it occurred.
10.32 Use of external storage contractors
Since February 2001[note 1], the Service has used a single national contractor, Graphic Data Online (formerly Sala International Limited and hereafter referred to as Graphic Data), to provide external storage facilities for recovered records. An electronic records management system enables official receivers to track the location of any box entered into the system with a standardised bar coded system to ensure accurate record management. The Service has a contract manager who has regular formal meetings with the contractor and each office using Graphic Data’s services has a nominated single contact point, who signs an authority form for Data Protection Act purposes.The contract is subject to review every four years with the current contract being in force until 31 March 2008.
The Graphic Data Head of Customer Services, will deal with queries raised by Insolvency Service staff. Any problems with service that arise at local office level should in the first instance be directed to him/her. The Head of Customer Services can be contacted at 2 Campfield Road, Shoeburyness, Essex, SS3 9BX, via E-mail at email@example.com by telephone on 01702 299888 or by fax on 01702 297007.
An Internet link is used to record boxes sent to store, to order services from Graphic Data and for general management of records. The website is accessed via www.graphicdataonline.com/mops and access to the site is by password.
Graphic Data will collect boxes from each official receiver on a scheduled day. Two working days before the collection date the official receiver should contact Graphic Data via the Internet to confirm the number of boxes to be collected. A trigger point relating to the number of boxes is required for the scheduled visit to occur otherwise Graphic Data will automatically cancel the visit and the boxes will be picked up on the next scheduled collection day. It is for each official receiver to increase or decrease this trigger point to suit the needs of the office.
All boxes to be sent to external storage must be bar coded with the bar codes provided by Graphic Data and the bar code numbers entered on LOIS screen 27. When the Graphic Data courier arrives to make the collection, a check will be made to ensure that the number of boxes tally and the official receiver will then receive a ‘collection confirmation note’ confirming the number of boxes that are being collected. This collection confirmation note should be retained for checking against the invoice for storage costs when received. The official receiver will be invoiced on a monthly basis by Graphic Data, the invoice showing the number of boxes being stored, box collections and destructions, transport costs, etc.
Where offices retain the facilities to store records on site, it is up to the official receiver to determine the most efficient balance of onsite/offsite storage for the office.
10.33 Storage for further investigation case
If a case has been marked as FURTHER INVESTIGATION and placed on the Investigation Register then "secure storage" must be used for the records being held relating to that case.
Records may be regarded as being held in "secure storage" if they are stored within an official receiver’s office at a recorded location and in boxes marked "NOT TO BE DESTROYED ". If the records are with contract storers (Graphic Data), arrangements must be made that the records are placed in a secure area or are otherwise safeguarded from destruction.
10.34 Storage for cases where reports submitted
When a statement of facts, disqualification or bankruptcy restriction report is to be submitted, if the records are still held in the official receiver’s office, a physical check of the records should be made. If the records are with commercial storers, a check should be made with the store to confirm that the records are still held. Offices which have adequate storage space may decide to retrieve the records and store them in the office pending the outcome of the report. If it is discovered that the records can no longer be found, or have been destroyed the Criminal Allegation Team and/or Authorisation Team must be notified immediately.
10.35 Inspection of records in storage
Records held by Graphic Data may have to be inspected by an investigation officer or solicitor for prosecution, disqualification or bankruptcy restriction order purposes. In such cases, a letter of authority to inspect/authority for release to investigation officer [note 2] should be sent to the investigation officer or solicitor and to Graphic Data.
Where a Government Department or other third party wishes to review records held in storage, once the official receiver has confirmed that they are entitled to inspect the records, the records should be retrieved from Graphic Data by the official receiver and arrangements made for the reviewer to inspect the records at the official receiver’s office. If this is not possible, if the volume of records prohibits this, for example, there are a number of Graphic Data sites located throughout the country where records can be inspected.
10.36 Records with third party
If a case is marked for FURTHER INVESTIGATION whilst the records are still held by a third party (e.g. an insolvency practitioner), arrangements should be made for the official receiver’s representative to visit the third party to check the number of containers involved. If possible, a list of contents should be obtained from the third party. A detailed inspection at third party premises and listing on LOIS screen 27 must take place before a prosecution, disqualification or bankruptcy restriction report is submitted.
10.37 Records handed over to liquidator/ trustee
Where records are held in external storage by Graphic Data, the insolvency practitioner appointed should be informed of this immediately as it is incumbent on the official receiver to ensure that storage costs are not incurred after the date of the insolvency practitioner’s appointment. If it is impossible to reach a sensible agreement with an insolvency practitioner regarding payment of storage costs, Graphic Data should be asked to provide a separate invoice for the cost of storage and the matter discussed further.
Due to the requirement on the official receiver that the insolvent’s records are accurately recorded and stored, insolvency practitioners have been requested [note 3], to keep the insolvent’s records in the format they were handed over, i.e. the same boxes. Where an insolvency practitioner considers that the records should be re-boxed to assist in the administration of the insolvency a file note is to be made as to when and why this occurred.
When a case is handed over LOIS screen 27 should be noted that the records are held by the liquidator/trustee.