You just know how this is going to turn out.
UK MPs have warned that HMRC (HM Revenues and Customs) may struggle to overhaul its expensive £10bn IT systems with Capgemini, and that further cuts could ultimately waste more taxpayers' cash. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published today said the body remains concerned that HMRC may struggle to integrate …
The government wants large public sector IT contracts to be split into smaller units and handed to a larger number of providers, including SMEs. Part of the rationale being that very large contracts are hard to manage. Then when HMRC tries to do what it's been told to do, PAC rings its hands over how difficult it will be to manage it all. Maybe it's just managing IT contracts that they find hard, never mind how big they are.
See, these tier one suppliers are acting as they would regardless of the customer. That is, deliver the contracted service to spec and make cash doing it. Problem is, these contracts are drawn up by public sector policy wonks. In the majority of cases, these wonks have worked for the public sector exclusively, indulge in petty empire building and will ensure that they have someone to blame when things inevitably go wrong. They write contracts that have such ridiculous clauses that end up hamstringing the agency instead of the supplier, are needlessly complex and ruinously expensive. Paradoxically, sacking the supplier is both 1: easier than sacking the wonk and 2: won't solve the fundamental problem and will ensure that the petty empires endure until the next round of departmental restructures (code for: we need to clear out the useless dross before they take over and drown us in trivia and minutae).
Anonymous, because for my sins, I've worked in Public Sector. Clueless doesn't even begin to describe some of the bods that worked there...
How the flippity do you get to 10 billion.
By 'misrepresentation' of the figures, namely, cite the total lifetime value of the contract (circa 11 bn) and not it's per annum value (circa 700m).
It's a bit like saying IT staff are expensive because they cost over 1m GBP, omitting to mention that this figure is the total amount many will earn over a 40 year working life...
as to how the HMRC needs a service contract of £700m and what exactly is provided.
Whilst this is a little out of date, it should answer your question.
As you will see HRMC require quite a lot more than a couple of guys who can install Windows and MS Office...
I know i should not expect this from government IT.
I did a private contract for a TV company.
We made a fairly small and specific system that automated about 18 people out of a job, the remaining 2 could do the job much quicker with the custom software we made. It also addressed some of the consistency issues that 20 different people brought to it.
Throughout the development process the boss of these 20 people was my number one person for information about the the current process.
I told her from the start the idea is remove people, not make their life easier and as the most expensive, she would probably be first. As a lifer at this company and me only a contractor, she thought me cynical.
I am cold hearted, but i was genuinely a little sad to see her crying face when they finally did fire her.
Without her detailed knowledge of the current process, we probably could have only replaced 10 of the 20.
Don't fire the current people until you have the new system in place... duh.
Updated The UK tax collector has extended its relationship with French IT service provider Capgemini in a £215m contract, which awards the outsourcer work to look after tech provided under the controversial 2004 Aspire contract at least eight years beyond the first proposed end date for the deal.
In a contract award notice published last week, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said it was extending the current arrangement, set to end in June 2022, for three to five years to "ensure the secure and continued support of the legacy applications whilst they are either decommissioned or undergo technical modernisation."
"HMRC has awarded a contract to Capgemini to provide business application, support and maintenance services for a set of business-critical legacy HMRC applications. Prior to this Capgemini was the incumbent service provider to HMRC for these services," the notice said.
Updated A system vital to the flow of goods across the UK's border has suffered a devastating outage following a rush to implement it in time for the Brexit deadline.
Last night, the UK's tax collector's technical teams were struggling to resolve an outage affecting the goods vehicle movement service (GVMS), introduced to help managed customs tariffs after the UK left the European Union.
Dover District Council, the local authority in the busy port town that is closest to the European mainland, is preparing to declare a major incident as a 23-mile (37km) stretch of the multilane M20 highway remains closed to accommodate queuing freight.
Updated UK tax authority HMRC has awarded Fujitsu a £250m contract for managed desktop services (MDS), extending a deal that dates back to 2017.
According to a procurement notice published this week, the work awarded is for "a trusted partner to provide all of HMRC's managed desktop, print, and workspace services." It is set to last until 2027 and started this month.
HMRC is in the middle of a £7bn technology procurement exercise, which at the outset promised to "deliver a step-change in how HMRC delivers IT, works with IT suppliers to procure and utilise technology and how we work more broadly as an organisation."
Capgemini has won a contract worth a maximum of £30m to integrate the UK tax collector's much-delayed customs platform with its other systems.
The award is part of a tranche of deals potentially worth more than £100m awarded in the last month, including a further Capgemini agreement to integrate controversial Brexit-related Inland Border Facilities.
The first project for the French outsourcing outfit is designed to "support the delivery of integration components for the Customs Declaration System (CDS)," according to a contract award notice. The two-year contract is expected to come to an end in January 2024.
Exclusive Britain's tax collection agency asked a contractor to use the SS7 mobile phone signalling protocol that would make available location data of alleged tax defaulters, a High Court lawsuit has revealed.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs had the potential to use SS7 to silently request that tax debtors' mobile phones give up location data over the past six years, according to papers filed in an obscure court case about a contract dispute.
SMS provider MMGRP Ltd, operators of HMRC's former 60886 text messaging service, filed a suit against the tax agency after losing the contract to send text messages on its behalf. Court documents obtained by The Register show that the secret surveillance capability was baked into otherwise mundane bulk SMS sending carried out by MMGRP Ltd.
IT contractors who have faced blanket bans on employment via their personal services companies (PSCs) could face years trying to challenge the decision, according to officials from the UK's tax collector.
Speaking to members of parliament, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) compliance director Nicole Newbury acknowledged that businesses implementing blanket bans on contracting PSCs could be found not to have complied with freelancer tax reforms, dubbed IR35, but challenging decisions could be a lengthy process.
The new rules, which place the burden of determining the tax status of freelancers on the employer, were brought into the public sector in 2017. They came into force for medium and large businesses in April 2021 following a report from the House of Lords, which said they were "riddled with problems, unfairnesses, unintended consequences."
Britain's tax collection agency has released a survey whose results downplay the impact of IR35 tax reforms in the public sector, apparently showing those in the private sector that everything went swimmingly.
The study [PDF] commissioned by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2020 to look into the "longer-term" impact of the rule change for public servants, was supposed to be released just before it rolled out the reforms to the private sector.
The research showed that in the public sector, 24 per cent of contractors were classed as falling "inside" IR35, the anti-avoidance tax legislation. This means they will be taxed as employees, not as self employed contractors.
IT consultancy and services company Capgemini has signed a £51m agreement to continue supporting UK tax systems first created under a contract HMRC has been planning to replace since 2015.
The French firm was awarded the three-year deal to support Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs' Enterprise Tax Management Platform (ETMP) Enterprise Operations (EOPS) Run & Associated Change Services as a sole supplier under a single lot, according to a contract award notice published last week.
It began work to build and support the systems under the controversial £10bn Aspire contract, a joint venture between Capgemini, Fujitsu, and HMRC first signed in 2004.
SCC, a UK-based tech services and reselling dynasty, has won a five-year contract extension with UK tax collector HMRC worth £91m for IT software and services.
According to a contract award notice from December last year, the five-year extension to a relationship that began in 2016 would be awarded for £85m. Perhaps SCC did some last-minute negotiations. We've invited Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to explain the valuation.
The award, apparently made without competition, is set to see SCC provide software licences and support services in partnership with IBM to keep the Declaration Management Service (DMS) system up and running.
Glitches in IT systems designed to manage the movement of goods from the EU to the UK are holding up shipments.
According to Bloomberg, problems with the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) – a UK government IT platform for moving goods into or out of Northern Ireland and Great Britain – have meant hauliers have not been able to load shipments onto the system and get their reference codes accepted.
The news outlet cites three organisations, including auto manufacturer Honda, as having been hit by difficulties with the system, causing shipments to be held up at the UK border.
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