At the end of the inspection

An initial inspection can last for one day or continue into a second. If the inspection is to continue, officials may seal all or part of your premises. As breaking of seals can incur very severe penalties, it is important that you warn all employees/cleaners/security etc not to touch or disrupt any seals. It may be advisable to have someone guard any sealed rooms or cabinets overnight.

Before officials leave for the day, you should:

  • confirm whether the inspection is over or set to continue
  • ask to check officials’ notes/minutes for accuracy. The officials may well refuse
  • claim confidentiality for all information in the documents officials have taken
  • ask for the officials’ lists of the copied documents
  • write down any areas of disagreement with the officials
  • reserve the right to challenge officials’ authority to have taken certain documents on the grounds of either legal privilege or the scope of their authorisation

Check that the response team has prepared:

  • a list of all files and documents inspected and their original location
  • a list of all documents copied or seized and their original location
  • a triplicate set of documents copied or seized, with confidential information kept separate where possible
  • a note of all oral explanations sought and given
  • a note of the time, place and content of any interview that a member of staff gave to officials, whether on or off business premises, and whether in person, by telephone, by email or by any other means
  • a copy of the officials’ notes (if provided)
  • copies of any notes recording differences of opinion with the officials
  • copies of any letters given to the officials during or immediately after the investigation explaining any difficulties that have arisen concerning production of documents, oral explanations or the correctness and completeness of information and documents supplied
  • a note of any information that you agreed to supplement in writing after the visit