Communication and Information Technologies

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1 Communication and Information Technologies Data-Processing Resources In 2002 the data-processing resources in the Agency s arsenal continued to increase in terms of both the number of items available and their storage capacity (TABLE No 95). - The Agency s HOST units experienced moderate growth, particularly in tape and cartridge units (close to 4%). total number of transactions totted up to 3,847 million; most of them were performed by CORREO and the Consolidated Database. - On-line storage (GB) rose over 66% over the preceding year. - There was no significant variation in the number of CPUs and system and remote printers during the year. - Processing speed continued to rise (23.48%) over the fiscal year before. The TABLE No 95 HARDWARE INSTALLED AS OF 31 DECEMBER 2002 CENTRAL SERVICES PERIPHERAL SERVICES TOTAL Central processing units Processing speed (MIPS) 7,182 2,031 9,213 On-line storage (GB) 56,499 6,308 62,807 Tapes/cartridges: real read/write units Tapes/cartridges: virtual read/write units Communications control units System and remote printers TOTAL 63,942 9,063 73,005 Source: Tax Data-Processing Department. During 2002 the connection capacity between Agency offices over the INTERLAN service, which adapts the network to handle the anticipated Intranet traffic, rocketed up over 300%. This increase was the consequence of the introduction of ADSL technology at administrations and Customs and the increase in the FRAMERELAY capacity at bureaus. A decline is still being observed in the use of existing point-to-point and X-25 lines, as a consequence of the gradual extension of the INTERLAN service throughout the organisation. 139

2 TABLE No º 96 TELEPROCESSING LINES 2002 TYPE OF LINE NUMBER OF LINES TOTAL RATE (Kbps) POINT-TO-POINT X INTERLAN ,392 TOTAL ,423 Source: Tax Data-Processing Department. Computer Applications During 2002 the Agency continued to pursue its objective of fostering relations with taxpayers through the use of new information technologies, especially the Internet. A Virtual Office was set up at the Agency s web page. The Virtual Office has greater options now, to facilitate the wide range of services the Tax Agency offers to taxpayers. Applications for Internal Tax Management and Auditing Support After several years working on the migration and adaptation of the information system to the Y2K effect and the introduction of the euro as Europe s single currency, in 2002 tax application development activity focused on three basic issues: - Transferring applications to the Consolidated Database (CD). - Processing documentary information in the infrastructure provided by the corporate Intranet. - Gradually increasing the use of all possible channels for interacting with taxpayers, especially the telephone and the Internet. 1. Comprehensive Personal Income Tax Management The information system had to be modified for the 2001 income tax campaign to accommodate the new procedure for offsetting liabilities between spouses. Also, a tool was developed for checking on and assessing taxpayers who were supposed to file a return agreementing to income data provided by third parties in informative returns (TABLE No 97) but had failed to file agreementingly. 140

3 TABLE No 97 INFORMATIVE RETURNS FORM INFORMATION TYPE RETURNS RECORDS 180 Withholdings on urban property rent 749,904 1,071, Mortgage loans 446 8,445, Gifts 4,738 1,696, Collective investment institutions (pension funds) ,699, Withholdings, capitalisation operations and insurance 288 1,239, Withholdings on personal earnings 1,842,277 47,583, Treasury bill transactions 161 2,889, Withholdings on invested capital (explicit) 79,249 24,897, Withholdings on invested capital (implicit) 261 2,113, Withholdings on bank accounts ,487, Financial instrument transactions 2,472 34,315, Withholdings on non-resident income 12,263 4,009, Pension plans and funds 2,332 5,481, Farm and livestock subsidies 653 2,258, Transactions with third parties 1,519,505 42,824,030 TOTAL 4,215, ,013,588 Source: Tax Data-Processing Department. The necessary developments have also been made to process eight new kinds of informative returns in the Consolidated Database: Transactions performed by entities registered in public registries Certain prizes exempt from personal income tax Accounts or transactions whose parties have failed to give their fiscal identification number Transactions with cheques from financial institutions Non-resident accounts Intra-Community transactions Cash payments of the tax on documents negotiated by partner institutions Cash payments of the tax on the issuance of documents that entail some exchange-related action or can be endorsed to the order of a recipient. 2. Consolidated Database. New Applications The Census Management application was centralised in First, a new tool was developed for conducting the annual comprehensive census overhaul; this tool checks the data provided by taxpayers in their different returns against information 141

4 obtained from other sources and determines how consistent they are with one another. Second, another new tool was developed for overhauling the Entity Index. Another new application was also developed, the Self-Assessment Filing Supervision System, for supervising all periodic taxpayer obligations for compliance. The new program integrates and replaces previous applications that used to be scattered all over the Provincial Databases. Here are some of the more important other applications that were developed during this fiscal year as well: - Centralised Refund Management System. This brand-new application was developed in the Consolidated Database. It responds to the changes stemming from the Decision by the Director-General of the Tax Agency on the new refund organisation and payment procedure. With this new system, which was introduced in early 2002, orders to pay out tax refunds (which used to be given out in a decentralised scheme) are issued from a central point through a single process that can be applied to all refunds, no matter what their origin or the nature of the refund agreement that is going to be honoured or the authority competent to acknowledge the right. The new procedure enables the Agency to eliminate the current accounts for each territorial bureau, cross-check refunds with liabilities nationwide, optimise its management of the financial resources made available to it for paying refunds, make the paying of tax refunds more nimble and speed up the handling of devolved sums. Existing accounting applications underwent adaptation as a result of the centralisation of the refund applications, the new type of income tax offsetting between spouses, the centralisation of payments and the elimination of certain bureaus of the Bank of Spain. - Procedure for notifications with acknowledgment of receipt. The new procedure for notifications with acknowledgement of receipt through the postal authorities was consolidated in This procedure has called for the notification procedure to be modernised and automated. It has the advantage of shortening the time it takes to handle proceedings. Here are some of the leading traits of this new procedure: a) Automatic on-line communication between the Tax Data-Processing Department and the Post Office. b) Automatic updating of the results of notifications served; this makes the handling of the related proceedings nimbler. c) Digitisation of the notification documents and storage of images of the documents, so that the documents can be saved in an electronic file. d) Digitisation of the acknowledgements of receipt of notifications served, and storage of their images in the electronic document file. e) Recovery, viewing and reproduction of the notification and acknowledgement of receipt document images over the Internet, thus reducing the paper flow. f) Centralisation of the file where the actual documents are kept, making for a big savings in document handling and storage costs. 142

5 Lastly, the corporate application for managing appointments with taxpayers for each of the services at Tax Agency offices was centralised, so that a single phone number can be used for all the different tax campaigns. 3. Integrated Collection System (Sistema Integrado de Recaudación, or SIR) Several main lines of work were pursued in the Integrated Collection System in fiscal 2002: development of new applications and procedures in the Consolidated Database and Provincial Databases; developments necessitated by the centralisation of other applications; conversion of all figures into euros; and tallying of accounting information in the new currency. 4. Provincial Databases The following procedures, amongst others, have been introduced in the application that handles requests for deferrals and permission to use the staggered payment scheme: release of reminder letters drawing attention to quarterly and monthly deadlines, which is done by the Printing and Envelope-Stuffing Centre; and the new procedure for downloading decisions over the Internet using a user s certificate (information can be accessed on decisions regarding deferrals and the staggered payment scheme; an image of the pertinent documents is displayed on the taxpayer s screen, and then the taxpayer can make payments by the right deadlines and obtain the proper documents to prove that payment has been made). 5. National Database Data migrations have been run from the National Database to the Consolidated Database. New centralised applications have been plugged into the Consolidated Database (mergers, spin-off splits, not-for-profit entities, management of documents filed over the Internet, generation of Complete Reference Numbers or NRCs, etc.). Also, a new application was developed, Company Group, in a major step forward in the functions the National Database is capable of performing. 6. Auditing Procedure In 2002 all taxpayer screening tools (CRUCES and CLASES) were updated and moved to the Consolidated Database s environment. New developments include some that allow screening to be applied agreementing to risk analysis criteria and tracking to be done to follow up purchases of luxury automobiles (due to the disappearance of the peseta as a currency). Labour auditing reports are provided periodically by the Social Security Labour Auditorate as part of its information-pooling agreement. These reports were incorporated in the Consolidated Database as an independent item that can be queried as such. The year was also occupied by a pilot project to test-evaluate and enhance the Check Help Method, a computer application that provides an organised catalogue of the tests and tasks usually performed to check out a taxpayer. The application makes it easier to plan each activity, it makes it simpler to utilise and examine the information available in databases and it improves the quality of the records kept to document auditing activities. 143

6 7. Electronic Filing of Returns, Notices and Other Tax-Related Documents In addition to extending the possibility of filing over the Internet to more return forms than ever (forms 036, 037, 200, 218, 349, 361 and 569), the Agency s web page has put the following options on screen: - Facilities for filing appeals for reversal; applications for the refund of undue revenues; rectification of self-assessments, clerical errors, factual errors or errors of arithmetic; and other tax-related applications. The filer then receives the filing document together with an electronic code that is proof that the Tax Agency has received the document in question. - Facilities for inquiring into appeals and applications filed by appellants and voluntary representatives over the Internet. - Facilities for granting, accepting and revoking the powers of voluntary representatives for a document filed or application made previously over the Internet. User s certificates (as issued by the Spanish National Mint) are required in order to use all these options. New services have been rolled out as well, such as the possibility of participating on line in auctions of seized property, inquiring into and paying notified liabilities (with the notification displayed on screen), the possibility of requesting an appointment with a tax agent to get personalised help filling in self-assessments and returns, and checking for confirmation of the second payment on personal income tax over the Internet. 8. VIES The number of inquiries into the VIES taxpayer census rose significantly during 2002, to the grand total of 3,213,872 counting both client and server mode. Spanish taxpayers use of the Internet feature to make VIES census queries has become consolidated. The feature allows an operation to be classified firmly as an intra- Community operation for VAT purposes. 9. Cooperation with Other State Bodies and Administrations The process of sending data on unidentified taxpayers to be checked into by the Ministry of the Interior intensified during the year. The Tax Agency periodically sends Autonomous Communities updated identification particulars for the taxpayers whose tax address is on their soil and a list of deceased persons. It also sends each Autonomous Community a monthly situation report on the processing status of liabilities for which enforced collection proceedings have been lodged as a result of cooperation agreements, and each year it sends them wealth tax and business tax returns. In return, the Agency periodically receives information from the Autonomous Communities concerning transfer tax, stamp duties and inheritance and gift tax. In fiscal 2002 the tools for taxpayer screening and classes and cross-checks of information were updated. These tools help in the execution of the Autonomous Communities auditing plans. 144

7 Cooperation with the Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre is implemented through mass sending, files sent over Editran, information related with information returns (180, 182, 187, 190, 196, 198, etc.) and also wealth data on taxpayers from the Basque and Navarran Exchequers and the Tax Agency, which are used by all three tax administrations during the personal income tax campaign. This arrangement favours and facilitates the services all three tax administrations render. TABLE No 98 COOPERATION WITH AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY INFORMATION SENT TO AUT. COMMS. IN 2002 Wealth 2001 Business 2001 ASSESSMENTS RECEIVED FROM AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES IN FISCAL 2001 Stamp Transfer Corporate Transactions Inheritance Andalusia 81, , ,011 85,478 18,247 18,698 2,971 Aragón 36, ,339 17,568 10,644 2, Asturias 22,877 93,789 42,589 27,851 3,786 6, Balearic Islands 28, , Canary Islands 28, ,243 37,755 13,529 5, Cantabria 12,900 53,683 9,470 5,465 1, Castilla La Mancha 19, ,054 7,543 12, Castilla y León 53, ,421 45,840 83,099 13,665 30,771 1,906 Catalonia 212, ,544 71,401 75,566 34,959 25,593 3,005 Extremadura 9,463 97,036 5,641 2, Galicia 50, , ,247 97,743 13,851 53,132 6,714 Madrid 160, , ,173 90,839 49,033 44,542 2,247 Murcia 14, ,708 6,828 10, La Rioja 9,741 32,597 13,448 7,013 1,397 2, Valencia 99, , , ,989 16,249 3, Ceuta 1,239 5,517 2, Melilla 1,260 5,846 2,231 1, Source: Tax Data-Processing Department. Gift 145

8 TABLE No 99 INFORMATION EXCHANGED WITH REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS ENJOYING SPECIAL RIGHTS (FISCAL 2002) RECORDS RECEIVED RECORDS SENT REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OF ÁLAVA 761,692 1,240,121 REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OF GUIPÚZCOA 830,638 1,621,401 REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OF VIZCAYA 1,811,894 9,780,860 GOVERNMENT OF NAVARRE 748,518 1,512,332 Source: Tax Data-Processing Department. Applications in the Customs and Excise Area In the Customs and Excise area, the most significant activities in 2002 focussed on facilitating compliance with necessary paperwork, introducing new developments enabling existing manual procedures and procedures arising from amendments of the rules to be mechanised, boosting the Internet as a tool for communicating with taxpayers, and incorporating added value into traditional corporate applications and into applications for proceeding management that feature the dynamic creation of documents (notifications, messages, etc.). 1.Actions Aimed at Facilitating Compliance with Necessary Paperwork a) On-line declarations. The most important aspect of on-line customs and excise declarations during 2002 was the consolidation of the Internet as a channel for mass communication with taxpayers and foreign trade operators. During that fiscal year, a total of 14,656,768 e-declarations were received, which makes for a slight increase of 1.78% over the number of on-line declarations received the year before. Electronic data exchanging experienced major growth, managing to account for 94.5% of all Single Administrative Documents (SADs) for exports, 90% of all import SADs, 80% of all transit SADs and 40% of all accompanying excise documents during fiscal b) Formalities over the Internet. The menu of options available over the Internet was consolidated and enlarged in This menu is designed to satisfy an operator s needs in regard to customs formalities. The growth of the available functions has led to changes in the Options menu at the Virtual Customs Office to include additional browsing facilities. The most significant developments made this year for using the Internet as a means of communicating with the taxpayer are: - Facilities for making inquiries into transit guarantees over the Internet. - A new procedure for notifying and contracting foreign trade debts. - Facilities for making inquiries over the Internet into paper-free releases. - Payment prior to release. 146

9 - On-line registration of attorneys-in-fact of indirect and self-releasing representatives/agents. - Declarations of operations in factories and tax warehouses. - Exempt victualling for watercraft and dredging operations. - Tax on retail sales of certain mineral oils. - Supplies under Rate Schedule II. - Intrastat. - A census by the Higher Board of Chambers of Commerce. 2. New Applications a) Documents binding to customs deposit or non-customs deposit. This application was designed to manage incoming goods, outgoing goods and inventories in customs deposits through the customs information system. Phase one has been introduced, which automates the capture and management of the Single Administrative Document binding to customs deposit, the document for transfers between deposits held by the same owner, unit reconversion documents and documents binding to deposit by the holder of a local clearance procedure, including the filing of these documents over the Internet. This is the vital first step towards comprehensive management of deposit inventories. b) Smuggling penalising proceedings. In order to complete the customs information system, a new management application has been developed specifically for handling smuggling proceedings in an Intranet environment. This application allows smuggling proceedings to be captured and their management to be integrated with the Unified Customs Database. It also facilitates tracking of these proceedings throughout the different stages of their life cycle and the management of notifications for automating this function. c) Filing of the Single Administrative Document over the Internet with payment prior to release. The payment of documents involving payment prior to the release of the goods in question has been facilitated by modifying the system that enables the needed information to be contracted and made available at the right time and place. d) On-line filing of attorneys-in-fact of indirect representatives/agents. A system of power registration and validation has been set up that allows an attorney-in-fact to file declarations over the Internet (using his or her own certificate) when the person listed on those declarations as the declarant is the indirect or self-releasing representative/agent. e) New foreign trade debt contraction and notification procedure. To facilitate the filing and payment of customs documents on line, a new procedure has been developed for debt contraction and notification on line with the opportunities that the new technological guidelines offer. f) Air transhipments. Managing transhipments by hand is a big burden for airport enclosure personnel, so an automatic procedure has been developed for transhipment in airport enclosures that simplifies their management. In the first five days of each month, a dating document is made out automatically, which indicates automatic transhipment concerning headings on summary declarations of unloading, provided that certain conditions are met. g) NRC code for relations with other administrative authorities. The electronic signature system has begun to be used as a successful means of facilitating the performance of customs formalities. This step has lead to the extension of the procedure to other administrative authorities. The system generates a code called the NRC, to ensure that a document declared on the Single Administrative Document (SAD) 147

10 (box 44) was indeed issued by someone who holds the power to do so, and it authorises the operation without the document s having to be physically submitted. The system is currently in its first phase, where it is going to be used for purposes of coordination with the Border Auditing Services. h) Paper-free release of goods in the enclosure. To facilitate the departure of a container from a marine enclosure without the need for documents on paper, an application has been developed that uses the information stored in the customs information system to verify the departure of the container depending on the status of the items on the summary declaration and the release of the dating documents. The application allows the container s departure data to be recorded or to be captured from the barcode on the shipping document. A query function has been set up on the Internet for cargo consignees, declarants and/or importers to use, where they can check on the container s departure to see whether or not it has been authorised. i) Summary declarations and cargo/departure manifests. The new rules have necessitated adaptations in the management applications involved. These adaptations have consisted fundamentally in a new type of knowledge ( empty container knowledge) and the inclusion of the list of the cargo consignees fiscal ID numbers in the header. designed in 2002 for maintaining and managing the national census of establishments subject to the new tax. When a new establishment is placed on the census, it is assigned a code called the retailer excise code (REC), which belongs to that establishment alone, and is issued a census ID card. l) Customs and Excise Check Help Method (MACA). During 2002 work started on developing a new computer tool in the Intranet environment, designed to make things easier for the civil servants whose job it is to conduct customs auditings. The MACA proposes a repertoire of action that civil servants can take with respect to the taxpayer they are inspecting, explains the objective and contents of each action and has a section containing relevant information obtained from the databases (cross-checks, data table, connections to the databases). m) Customs Auditing Plan. Checking procedures can now be displayed in the new Intranet environment to facilitate their integration with the Check Help Method. The actuary is not only able to access the action that the Help Method proposes, but also to consult the rest of the information in the proceeding (notification that the proceeding has been lodged, formalities, reports, penalising proceedings, etc.). j) New version of the Operator Risk Index (ORI). With the goal of improving risk management in foreign trade, the Agency has pushed on with its trend of using the Operator Risk Index (ORI) as a value in several filters to render its importance explicit in SAD queries and to create new filters based on the ORI value. k) Management of the Census of Retailers Subject to Excise Tax on Retail Sales of Certain Mineral Oils. A new application was 148

11 Other Applications 1. Data Input System The ENVIWIN application integrated all the forms in the new SCED (Consolidated Data Input System) environment this year, which translates into a production figure of 11 million returns on paper and close to 1 million returns on disk. The Reading and Classifying System (SLC) added forms 180, 190 and 347 to its catalogue, thus consolidating its position as one of the main pathways for data entry. In 2002 the SLC processed over 6 million returns made out on forms 100, 180, 190, 347, 714, 390 and 201 from all over the nation. 2. Document Management System at the Madrid Special Bureau In the field of auditing reports, the Document Management System has continued to operate normally in 2002, taking its place as yet another tool for use in auditing procedures. It has been introduced at the facilities of the National Auditing Office in Madrid and Barcelona. 3. Human Resource Management Applications At the Human Resources Panel, introduction of the Competitions, Appointments, Auto- Save and Auto-Incident schedule control modules, which was begun the year before, has finally concluded. Notification of the creation of the Technical Corps of the Exchequer has been included, as have facilities for applying for specialty qualifications and the corresponding competitive candidate selection process. A course and teacher evaluation form has been set up for training course participants. During the fortnight following the end of a training course, the people who attended have the opportunity to evaluate their experience over the Panel, where their anonymity is completely assured. On the more general front, the Professional Civil Liability Insurance module has been introduced. This module guarantees the payment of any damages that the insured person is held responsible for causing to third parties in his or her professional capacity. Sector-specific developments have also been made for human resource management (new systems where productivity is rated by recording and supervising all kinds of productivity, screening and hiring of temporary staff for the income tax campaign, adaptation of the existing code to the application used by the Taxpayer Defence Council, etc.). 4. Management Applications for the Internal Auditing Service The Tax Agency s Data Warehouse project came about in 2001 as a measure to enforce one of the objectives seen as a top dataprocessing policy priority in the Tax Agency s Modernisation Plan. The project s importance is reflected in the General Plan on Tax Supervision for 2002, which spells out, as one of the measures for incorporating new technologies for enhanced quality and effectiveness in the Agency s activities, the incorporation of passive risk analysis and techniques and Data Warehousing technology, which will introduce greater rationality into the system. 149

12 In 2002 a variety of measures were taken, all aimed at consolidating the system and expanding its contents and use by future users. 5. Economic and Financial Management Applications Analysis has been finished on a new module to help with preparations for the Tax Agency s budget bill and the submission of queries to budget managers. A feature has been included for cash management that supervises authorised signatures in the Tax Agency s accounts. It improves the mass-payment process in terms of the distribution of lists and letters for suppliers. The cashier s station management module has also be expanded, with new options for writing and supervising invoices at Agency bureaus and administrations for the sale of handbooks and forms, plus any other invoices needed in order for the officers in charge to manage certain budgetary items. A process has been prepared for listing the bonds furnished by Internet auction participants in the accounting records, and the necessary options for tracking and supervising bidders bonds are being developed. 6. Technical Support for Autonomous Communities and Local Authorities The Autonomous Community and Local Authority Support Group continued in 2002 to collaborate in the development, implementation and tracking of projects begun in years before with the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Cantabria, Castilla La Mancha, Valencia and La Rioja. the Quality Guarantee throughout all phases of their work together. Cooperation has started up as well with the provincial government of Cadiz, aimed at adapting the revenue management model to accommodate the system for comprehensive management of funds collected. Data Security The year 2002 saw the publication of the Order of 16 October on the updating of files containing personal information, including an authorisation empowering the Director- General of the Tax Agency to carry out future updates via his own official decisions. Furthermore, in the month of August a cooperation agreement was signed with the State Social Security Treasury to allow an exchange of information and the formation of direct accesses to both organisations databases for users belonging to either organisation. The different areas have had to work together closely in order to arrange for new outside users and permit the kind of access defined in the agreement with top speed. The CONTROLA application will enable these accesses to be supervised. Plans also call for State Treasury users to be given the training they need to learn to use these tools. A total of 352 million accesses were made under this system in 2002, up significantly from the 309 that were made the year before. It also kept up its cooperation with Sociedad Estatal de Promoción y Equipamiento de Suelo (SEPES) in the development of a new comprehensive system and in the tracking of 150

13 Statistics and Tax Studies Area In 2002 the functional realms focused on the following items: - A fresh evaluation was made of the cost of the personal income tax reform. The new evaluation incorporated brand-new measures such as the deduction for mothers who work outside the home and have children under age three and measures designed to protect persons with disabilities. The modifications in the withholding system were calculated at the same time. - The reform of the tax on professional and business activities was quantified in terms of the money and taxpayers involved, yielding the number of exempt taxpayers listed by licence type, the heading that their primary professional or business activity belongs to and the taxpayer s province and municipality. With these studies in hand, an application was put together on CD-ROM for municipalities that have over fifty thousand inhabitants. - As in years before, there are four simulators in the operating phase (income, personal income tax withholdings, corporate income tax withholdings and value added tax). Each year a series of tasks has to be performed, such as changing the base year, readjusting the base year due to changes in tax forms, incorporating changes in rules and legislation and evaluating population-related, exogenous and endogenous inflation factors used in projections. - The tax databases on corporate income tax, value added tax and large enterprises e- returns were overhauled. Large enterprises e-returns are going to be tracked in three different ways: the Large Enterprise Bulletin Preview, the Large Enterprise Bulletin and the Annual Report on the Main On-line Filing Results. - The Agency participated in the preparation of the 2003 Annual Report on Tax Benefits, where tax benefits were quantified for corporate and personal income tax and comparative evaluations were drawn with the tax benefits from value added tax and tax on insurance premiums. - Statistical studies were also conducted on fiscal 2000 corporate income tax, and fresh statistics were obtained on and corporate income tax, 1999 and 2000 value added tax and, lastly, personal income tax withholdings on account for Finally, a survey was designed to discover what citizens think about certain aspects related with the Tax Administration s Internet services. The sample was selected, the final results were tabulated and a final report was given with the conclusions the survey revealed. 151

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