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 (updated June 2013)
Since December 2012, the Service has a national contract with Iron Mountain (UK) Ltd to provide external storage facilities for recovered records.
Any documents currently stored with EDM (formerly known as Sala and Graphic Data) which are due for destruction before April 2014 will be left with EDM and destroyed in due course at EDM.
Other records are currently being migrated to Iron Mountain. The Service aims to complete the transfer of storage to Iron Mountain by April 2014, by which time no records should remain with EDM and all continuing storage requirements will be with Iron Mountain.
Instructions on the use of Iron Mountain and contact details are provided on the KIM intranet pages, Iron Mountain Guidance.
10.33 Storage for further investigation case (amended June 2013)
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 the storage contractor, 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 (amended June 2013)
Records held by the storage contractor 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 the storage contractor.
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 the storage contractor 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 storage contractor 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 (amended June 2013)
Where records are held in external storage by the storage contractor, 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, the storage contractor should be asked to deliver the books and records in storage directly to the insolvency practitioner. The official receiver’s office should ensure that the costs involved are charged to the estate, and therefore met by the insolvency practitioner when the balance on the estate is transferred (see Annex A).
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 ISCIS should be noted that the records are held by the liquidator/trustee.
Where records are currently held in the official receiver’s office when an insolvency practitioner is appointed, the insolvency practitioner should be asked to arrange collection of the books and records from the office. If the insolvency practitioner objects to this, see the guidance in Annex A, issued by ORBS, which provides information on ensuring all books and records are handed over in a timely and cost efficient manner. Official receiver offices should not store books and records on behalf on insolvency practitioners.