Storage and protection of computerised media and accessing imaged copies

March 2011

Part 4 Storage and protection of computerised media and accessing imaged copies

66.38 Protection of the computer system                                    

Where the computer hardware is removed to the official receiver’s office it should be adequately secured and insured as part of the insolvent’s estate. It should be kept at the official receiver’s office for the minimum period possible to allow for the collection of the data before disposal. See Part 6 regarding destruction of the computer hardware and imaged copies.


66.39 The working copy media

Following a request to FCU to obtain an imaged copy of the computerised accounting records, FCU will supply the investigator or examiner with only one copy of the required data on suitable media (either a CD or DVD),  as a working copy which can be used to examine the records.  All or part of the data on a disk or hard drive can be requested, and it should be noted that it is standard procedure not to include the operating files when imaging from a computer hard-drive.  FCU can provide a limited amount of technical advice to official receivers with regard to the imaged media, but it does not provide printed output from data such as accounts packages. 


66.40 Storage by FCU of further copies of the imaged data

Two copies of the “imaged” data will be kept by FCU at different sites.  This data will be kept for the agreed minimum period of five years, unless earlier destruction is agreed by the official receiver. Further copies of the relevant data can be extracted from these images at a later date if required.


66.41 Evidential copy of media

If an evidential copy is required the examiner or investigator will need to submit a request to the FCU asking for this,  using the RFS/FDR form.  Reference should be made to the completed RFS/FDR request number in the “Request Description” box on the form, i.e. “please supply an evidential copy of FDR000001” and allow at least 10 working days for the request to be completed.


66.42 Storing the original computer and/or media

The original computer and/or media will be returned to the official receiver by FCU, re-bagged and re-tagged. In all cases this original computer and/or media should be stored in these sealed evidential bags which should not be unsealed unless specific instructions to do so are given by Enforcement Directorate or Company Investigations, or BIS Legal/Treasury solicitors.


66.43 Storage conditions

The official receiver should ensure that all computerised accounting records are stored separately and centrally within the office so that storage conditions can be monitored at all times. Discs and tapes all have a limited life before the data stored on them becomes corrupted and thereby impossible to read. If a disc or tape is exposed to any of the following it may be corrupted and become useless:-

  • a magnetic source,
  • heat,
  • cold,
  • dirt,
  • damp,
  • flexing, bending or crushing of a disc,
  • writing on a disc’s sleeve with a ball-point pen (if a disc sleeve must be marked a felt-tipped pen must be used), or
  • touching the exposed area of the floppy disc itself.


66.44 Accessing the imaged media

The Service has now moved to a thin client approach for its network, whereby software applications are provided via the IBM portal.  This includes the  provision of Sage accounting software via the IBM portal, instead of having to access the imaged data on a stand alone PC. A summary of the process for accessing Sage Accounts software via the portal is provided at paragraph 66.45.


66.45 Accessing Sage Accounts software via the portal

Staff who require access to the networked version of Sage will need to email their details to the and request access to Sage Accounts 2007 via the network.  They should also ask to be added to the “CD/DVD read” user group.

Following contact from the user, the Asset Team will request an update from IBM to enable access to the Sage accounting package, and once this is completed, the user can then update the portal settings so that the Sage icon is visible on the “ My applications” screen. Staff added to the “CD/DVD” user group will then be able to connect an external reader to their VIA box in order to access imaged Sage accounts.  Each office should have been provided with one CD/DVD reader, contact the if your office has not yet been provided with this.

Guidance on the network version of Sage Accounts software (including links to detailed guides on restoring accounts and exporting data) can be found on the OROS intranet page by clicking HERE. 


[Back to Part 3 - Making a record of the computer system and its contents] [On to Part 5 - Use  of computerised records in evidence]