Outsourcing of data entry functions poses risk of Income Tax refund frauds – CBDT

Outsourcing of data entry functions in Income Tax Department poses a risk of refund frauds and leakage of confidential data – CBDT

CentralBoardofDirectTaxes (CBDT) in a latest instruction has stated that large-scale outsourcing of data entry functions in the Income Tax Department poses a risk of refund frauds and leakage of confidential data.

According to the Instruction, 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.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) have issued instructions for effecting rotational transfers of officials posted on sensitive posts.

According to the CBDT, while compliance with the said instructions is regularly monitored in the case of departmental employees , it is observed that such rotational changes are not made 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 bassis,

CBDT has also pointed out that 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.

Accordingly, all Pr. Commissioners of Income Tax, Pr. Directors of Income Tax (lnv) and Commissioners of Income Tax (Appeals) have been advised by the CBDT to ensure strict compliance of the above guidelines and to implement them in letter and spirit.

It has been further instructed that 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.

CBDT has stated 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

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