Seven HM Revenue & Customs staff have been sacked for racist behaviour towards non-UK nationals claiming child benefits.
It is believed that nine employees were accused of tampering with computer records, so that people from ethnic minority backgrounds were paid less money than they were entitled to. All those affected have now received the correct payments.
Two employees resigned when an investigation into allegations of racist behaviour at HMRC’s contact centre in Belfast was launched in January.
HMRC began its investigation when a person complained that their records had been changed. It conducted a detailed audit and found another 16 similar incidents.
A spokesperson for HMRC told Computerworld UK: "We will always review our procedures. This is very, very rare."
Meanwhile, Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC, said that HMRC operates a zero tolerance pollicy when it comes to racial discrimination.
“The vast majority of our people are entirely professional and one of the ways we support that professionalism is by taking decisive action against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling far short of those standards," he said.