back to article Cash woes hold back National Insurance IT improvements

A National Audit Office report says that limited money for IT is hampering improvements to the administration of National Insurance. The report, published on 30 June, says that HM Revenue and Customs' Contributions Office, which maintains personal records on the National Insurance (NI) database, would like to make significant …


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  1. chr0m4t1c

    Did I just switch into a parallel universe?

    The NAO are saying that a government department /isn't/ spending enough on IT?!?

    I never dreamed I ever hear that.

  2. chr0m4t1c

    Did I just switch into a parallel universe?

    The NAO are saying that a government department /isn't/ spending enough on IT?!?

    I never dreamed I'd ever hear that.

  3. Gordon is not a Moron

    definately won't get the money with comments like this

    "the department will struggle to deliver on improvements to revenue collection and tackling tax evasion"

    As tax evasion seems to the sport of choice for the friends of the nasty party, there's no way they'll get the funding.

  4. johnB

    Hard to see how microfiches are going to go

    It's hard to see how HMRC are going to get rid of microfiches at all - they've been recording up to 20M employees pay, tax & NI details per year onto microfiche for decades.(Although under electronic submission of employee data it's probably stopped now). Whilst it would no doubt be useful to transfer the lot to an electronic format, the chances of money under any foreseeable gov't being made available to do that must be pretty close to zero. The costs would be enormous & in lots of cases, human intervention would be needed to interpret images, giving rise to further occasions of error. So they'd still need to retain the originals, as actual copies of the source documents.

    The problem that the NI office face is that they need to keep data going back to 1948 (start of NI [aka "Social Security] in the UK), so the data mountain just keeps growing.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Dazed and Confused

    £35 Million on a web site, but not enough spend on IT ?

    Not enough WISE SPENDING on IT.

    Senior civil servants need to be fired and replaced by people with degrees in Engineering or the Sciences, replace those with PPE degrees.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ....replace those with PPE degrees

    Shock! Horror! You are practicing discrimination! Wash your mouth out you boundah!

    You have a choice. Not much of one I grant you. But you do have a choice....

    If you fill the job centres with peeps who have spent, nay wasted, 3 years of their life achieving a low grade and totally useless degree in meedja studies then keeping them off the streets by giving them a low level executive position (e.g. tea sampler) in HMRC is surely preferable to putting them back on the street corners which they would have occupied prior to their elevation to having a degree? Let us not forget that the army presently engaged by HMRC do actually pay tax and NI (obviously on income which was unearnedd as far as the UK economy is concerned), whereas the job centre existence means that the state get to pay your NI forevermore and no contribution is made to the welfare system (hang on, what am I saying here...?).

    There are only so many jobs out there where the job holder has to learn "do you want fries with that Sir?" as the introductory line when dealing with clients.

    And where's the Peter Mandelson icon then?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Socialists spend other peoples money, until is runs out, then grow state debt!!!

      WTF, are you stupid? Do you have no understanding of money?

      The army and any other body of people employed by the government are paid from tax revenue and worse still, growing state debt; so it is damned absurd to justify their employment because they pay tax and NI, when it is on a Tax and debt funded salary, the only justification is if they help the local private economy enough to justify their existence!

      Read "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith (yes It's a long read). Adam Smith eventually describes in detail that excessive spending on luxuries, like government, will reduce the prosperity of a country; so feel very ashamed for your socialist tripe.

      Some government aids prosperity, but beyond that point, it harms prosperity, and eventually becomes unsustainable! Austrian and Hungarian economics have this nailed.

      'state revenue' collection will decline anyway, until government is shrunk enough, enough corporate undead are killed off, and enough private employment growth occurs _in the UK_.

      The current rabble in government are better than Labour in some respects, but being the career corporate socialists that they all are, they still haven't bit the bullet and taken a hatchet, with the necessary effort, to all the areas of government which need to be cut, yes including The Welfare State, foreign aid, and corporate bailouts. Sorry state pensioners, you are stuffed!

      If this is not tackled, along with localisation measures and less regulation, then the current deflationary period and following inflationary period here will likely be far more vicious, maybe even become a Greater Depression!

  7. Tom Chiverton 1


    Employ all the soon-to-be-out-of-work public sector people in the records dept., massively panellising the search and speeding it up no end :-) No need to expensive, late, big-IT at all.

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