Processes, such as the appointment of subcontractors and staff accreditation programmes, have been tightened at the department during the handover.
‘At the start of the previous contract there was no effective security management process in place for the relationship,’ said Dave Evans, head of security at the Revenue, speaking at Gartner’s recent IT security summit.
In one incident during the EDS contract, the Revenue’s security department only discovered costsaving plans to shut a datacentre, and move information to a shared site, when an internal memo was circulated, said Evans.
All procedures implemented by Capgemini and partners Fujitsu Services and BT must also meet the BS7799 security standard, with the Revenue planning to adopt the standard internally.
‘We now have in place a security governance structure, security accreditation processes and we approve subcontractors,’ Evans added.
The department has built in a series of reviews to ensure that security procedures are adhered to at every stage of the outsourcing contract.
Meanwhile, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has confirmed that it could follow the lead of the Revenue and the Financial Services Authority by looking into the benefits of XBRL technology.
As part of its initiative to assess the language, which uses data tags that mark up financial information to make it easier to retrieve and search for data, the commission has issued details of a voluntary programme allowing registrants to file supplemental financial information using XBRL.
The proposal is open for public comment for a 30-day period, and would apply to the 2004 calendar year-end reporting season.
The SEC announced last month that it would seek public comment on the technology.
Bob Herz, chairman of US accounting body FASB, said at the time that XBRL’s potential as a ‘new and powerful medium’ for increasing the ease of use of financial information must be assessed, as he thought that XBRL could ‘modernise financial reporting’.
SEC chairman William Donaldson commented that the initiative was part of the commission’s attempts to improve the quality of information available to investors and the marketplace.
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