back to article Fujitsu gets £250m extension on HMRC work dating back to 2017

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 …

  1. hoola Silver badge

    Typical

    After the Post Office Horizon scandal I simply fail to understand just how the Government can continue to award and renew these sorts of contracts to Fujitsu.

    Fujitsu, current and past directors need to be prosecuted. The UK should at the least not be giving them any new work and better, should have terminated contracts.

    Maybe that is a bit of a hard line but at the moment it appears that outsourced IT can do whatever it wants without taking any responsibility or any hit whatsoever. The people left carrying that can (Post Office Management in this case) may have have been implicated in some of the scandal but from everything that has been published, Fujitsu's actions are just despicable.

    1. lotus49

      Re: Typical

      The impact of the failures with the Post Office systems were so severe with many innocent people being treated appallingly, being hounded by the Post Office for nothing and being wrongly branded as criminals. There is no way another contract should be awarded when the supplier consistently and wrongly said that there was no fault with the systems, even when they knew very well that there were.

      It's an absolute disgrace.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently a lot of these departments have been hollowed out to the point that there are very few people remaining who can approve new tenders/contracts, which is why you are seeing a rise in contract extensions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Correct. One of the defining features of the Aspire contract that is - agonisingly slowly - being replaced is that it was a procurement framework as much as it was a contract for delivery. The real genius - from Capgemini's perspective - is that Aspire personnel (i.e. mostly Capgemini staff) ran the processes of contracting and procurement from the Aspire suppliers (i.e. mostly Capgemini and Fujitsu).

      This wasn't abused anywhere near as much you might immediately assume because that element of the contract was well-monitored by HMRC and it was run on an effectively zero margin basis. But in 2014 when this contractual structure was broken up (the "novation"), many of these key procurement/contracts personnel were offered a reverse-TUPE back into the civil service, and the overwhelming majority declined and moved onto other roles.

      (For most the concern was they'd be stuck in one role forever; TUPE would of course maintain their private sector conditions, but if they ever wanted promotion/transfer they'd almost certainly have to adopt civil service Ts&Cs)

      The other element of this is that HMRC are sitting on the business end of ten years of austerity, plus being one of the most badly affected departments by Brexit, plus having to move heaven and earth to implement Covid response plans like the CJRS. Even if there were budget or the people to do so, there simply isn't the organisational appetite to implement significant changes to suppliers.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Acquiring Strategic Partners for the Inland Revenue Environment

    Everyone always forgets that BT were the third party in the ASPIRE contract.

    It has been a productive cash cow for CapGemini and Fujitsu and continues to be so long after the end of the original contract. How many more extensions before the udders run dry?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Acquiring Strategic Partners for the Inland Revenue Environment

      Capgemini were the prime contractor and Fujitsu, Accenture, BT and L3 were the principal subcontractors in approximately descending order of revenue. Fujitsu and Accenture were shifted out of Aspire to a direct procurement basis in 2014.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ol boys club failing up

    Whilst I have seen Fujitsu like any company its size do some things well and others less so, the UK government has been involved in a recent -ve experience. Given this, you would expect contracts to at least go out for tender as per the normal process. As noted by another anonymous poster it would seem that there aren't even staff enough to run tenders so incumbents can stay which I can't help thinking isn't very bad news for people who may know a certain old Etonian and his Kia driving neighbor. This also means if those contracts were deficient and did not have clauses allowing the taxpayer-funded departments to penalise poor performance they may not have much leverage if and when the service is not meeting their needs.

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