The CBDT has issued a directive dated 27 November, 2018 by which it has outlined the measures to be taken by the Department to avoid refund frauds and leakage of confidential data in accordance with the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission. All Pr. Commissioners of Income Tax, Pr. Directors of Income Tax (Inv) and Commissioners of Income Tax (Appeals) have been advised to ensure strict compliance of the guidelines and implement the same in letter and spirit.
This directive has become necessary in the wake of the large-scale tax refund scam seen earlier (see CBDT Busts Tax Refund Scam By CA and Tax Refund Scam By Bogus CA | CBDT Warns Salaried Taxpayers Not To Claim Fraudulent Exemptions Etc & Under-Report Income)
F. No. DGIT(Vig.)/HQ/DE0/2018-19/5170
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
New Delhi-110001 Dated 27 November, 2018
Subject: Outsourcing of data entry functions — rotation of outsourced staff — instructions — reg.
Large-scale outsourcing of data entry functions in the Income Tax Department poses a risk of refund frauds and leakage of confidential data. It has been noticed that quite often the outsourced data entry operators have access to the RSA Tokens issued to the officers and are also aware of the passwords. Therefore, there is an ever-present risk of these being misused to access and manipulate taxpayer data. Gross violations of RSA Token policy and sharing of login credentials have been main reasons for refund frauds.
2. The Central Vigilance Commission and the Department of Personnel and Training have issued instructions for effecting rotational transfers of officials posted on sensitive posts. As per Commission’s instructions on this issue, the Department and the CVO are to identify the sensitive posts and staff working in these posts and also ensure that the staff in such posts are strictly rotated after every two/ three years to avoid developing vested interests.
3. While compliance with these instructions is regularly monitored in the case of departmental employees, it is observed that such rotational changes are not effected at the level of outsourced data entry staff due to which they continue to remain in the same offices for long periods. Such overstay and continuous placement affords scope for indulging in corrupt activities, developing vested interests etc., which is not in the interest of the Department. It is therefore necessary that periodical rotation of outsourced data entry staff working in offices handling investigation/ assessment/ appellate work should be ensured. Outsourced data entry staff should not be retained in the same office for more than two years and should be rotated on a regular basis.
4. Certain instances of unauthorized personnel, either privately employed or otherwise, being given access to office, office records and computer systems have also been noticed in the Department. Unauthorized personnel should not be permitted to have access to any office, office record or computer system of the Department.
5. All Pr. Commissioners of Income Tax, Pr. Directors of Income Tax (Inv) and Commissioners of Income Tax (Appeals) are advised to ensure strict compliance of the above guidelines and implement the same in letter and spirit. The exercise of rotation of outsourced data entry staff may be completed by 31st January of every year and a certificate may be furnished in the monthly DO letter for the month of January to the effect that no Data Entry staff is working in the same office for more than two years.
6. They are further advised to inform their subordinate officers that if any instance of unauthorized personnel, either privately employed or otherwise, being given access to office, office records or computer systems is noticed, appropriate disciplinary action shall be initiated against the officer concerned.
5. This issues with the approval of Chairman, CBDT.
ADG (V) HQ-I, CBDT