The Serious Fraud Office looks to assist potential victims or witnesses of fraud in many ways. One of these is by offering alternative methods for those seeking to submit material to us in response to our requests. We have aimed to make these methods as straightforward as possible.
The bulk of material received by the SFO is in the form of paper copies which have either been printed or photocopied. This can be both expensive to create and to transmit. As a result we now offer an alternative - to provide us with digital material in response to the notice you have been sent.
You can do this by either exporting material from an existing Electronic Document Records System, or by scanning material as an alternative to photocopying. Both of these methods will enable you to reduce processing times and significantly cut postage costs. We simply require that any material supplied is consistent with the following advice. This is so that we can maximise the evidential weight of the material should we need to use it in legal proceedings.
Material provided from a system compliant with BS 10008:2008, Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information.
If you or your organisation runs a compliant system, you will need to ensure that the material is transferred to us in accordance with the above standard. In your covering correspondence you will need to specify that this is the case using the following statement:
'[insert name of organisation] confirms that the [insert name or other identification for the system] electronic transfer system is operated in compliance with BS 10008:2008.'
Material provided from an alternative system.
We require an image file that is at least as detailed as the original digital file and that conveys the same amount of information as the original paper document.
As such the digital file should be saved either:
- in its native resolution
- or at a resolution of 300dpi, whichever is the greater.
The format of the output file should be either:
- or PDF, which has been allocated a unique identifier as its file name.
In addition to the image files, you should also include any available metadata for the image as a:
- tab-delimited text file
- or a spreadsheet file.
This should include at the very least a description of each document and its date.
Once compilation of the data is complete, the output files and accompanying metadata must be burnt onto a single use CD-R or DVD-/+R. We cannot accept material sent on rewritable media, as the integrity of such media cannot be assured.
You will need to specify within your covering correspondence that you have verified that the content of the disk (not your system) is an accurate representation or an exact copy of the original material held within your system.
You will also need to briefly indicate what steps you have taken in transferring the information from system to disk.
Material provided that has been scanned specifically for the SFO.
We require an image file that is at least as detailed and conveys the same amount of information as the original paper document. We would suggest scanning the material at a minimum of 300dpi to an image file with no compression.
When checking the quality of scanning you should ensure that the following criteria are considered:
- overall legibility;
- smallest detail legibility (e.g. clarity of the smallest type size for text);
- completeness of detail;
- presence of scanner generated speckle;
- dimensional accuracy compared with the original;
- completeness of overall image area (e.g. have the edges been cropped);
- colour fidelity.
The resulting image file should be either a TIFF or PDF file which has been allocated a unique identifier as its file name.
Each document scanned should have metadata attributed to it, including a description of the document content and document date.
If scanning in batches, the metadata should unambiguously indicate the start and end points of individual documents.
This metadata should be provided as a tab-delimited text file or a spreadsheet file.
Once compilation of the data is complete, the image files and accompanying metadata must be burnt onto a single use CD-R or DVD-/+R. We cannot accept material sent on rewritable media, as the integrity of such media cannot be assured.
You will need to specify within your covering correspondence that you have verified that the content of the disk is a completely accurate representation of the original material you have scanned. You will also need to briefly indicate what steps you have taken in capturing and transferring the information from system to disk.
If you would like to see an example of the format in which to provide material or an example of the covering correspondence, we have prepared a downloadable document set for this purpose.
Document Set (13.11Mb)
Example Correspondence (114Kb)