File management and data handling during the NRM process
Last updated 23/09/2021
Confidentiality and data protection
Victims will have been in situations where contact with outsiders has been handled with suspicion. They may be concerned about risks to their health and safety. Careless handling of personal information greatly increases that risk. Inter-agency cooperation is essential in correctly identifying and sufficiently supporting victims but the data that gets transferred between agencies must be heavily protected.
Confidentiality is an important condition in work with victims of human trafficking or modern slavery. Victims have information about criminals who have trafficked and exploited them and this may make them vulnerable. The Competent Authority must not disclose to anyone other than the police and those directly involved in the case the potential victim’s address, support arrangements or any other details that may compromise their safety.
Where a notification of a decision is sent to a potential victim the Competent Authority should not send this to an address where the victim was known to have been exploited. Notification of a decision must always been sent to a potential victim at a safe address.
Storing, transmitting and access to modern slavery case information
All modern slavery paperwork must, at a minimum, be given the government marking of ‘official-sensitive’. More information on handling and protectively marking secure documents can be found on Horizon.
In all cases the Competent Authority must record how the case progresses and keep detailed notes of their decisions. It is essential that they make a comprehensive written assessment of how the person’s situation meets or does not meet the definition of a trafficked or modern slavery victim. In their assessment they must refer to the documents submitted in support of the referral (for example those submitted by non-governmental organisations) and show the weight they have given to the information.
The Competent Authority must also make sure that relevant databases are updated at each stage of the case, for example:
- the Home Office’s CID
- the UK Human Trafficking Centre’s systems
- any local spreadsheets
Home Office action only:
Record the following details on CID:
- date of referral
- the case outcome using the relevant modern slavery case type:
- (reasonable grounds decision)
- (conclusive grounds decision)
- any other information in relation to the case’s progression (follow local processes for recording)
The Home Office must not however, record anything on CID that may compromise the person’s safety.
Human trafficking or modern slavery file
A human trafficking or modern slavery file must be kept by Competent Authority staff in the Home Office and UKHTC.
Home Office action only: At regional discretion, this may be stored as a subfolder of the asylum case file.
When human trafficking or modern slavery cases are concluded, all human trafficking or modern slavery case files must, at a minimum, contain:
- first responder referral form
- reasonable grounds decision letter
- reasonable grounds decision consideration minute
- confirmation that the decision has been checked and signed off by a second pair of eyes as appropriate
- confirmation that accommodation has been offered to potential victim (where the reasonable grounds was positive)
- conclusive grounds decision letter (where the case has progressed to conclusive grounds)
- conclusive grounds decision consideration minute (where the case has progressed to conclusive grounds)
- notice to UK Human Trafficking Centre - UKBA NRM 09 (ICD.4460 on CID Doc Gen) (Home Office action only)
- notice to the support provider or Local Authority
- details of police or criminal and financial investigations team referral