- About HMRC Is Shite
- RTI Resources
- Tax Insurance
- About KenFrost.com
- Contact Me
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
The Sweet Smell of Bullshit - Hardware Fault
Those of you who got stuck in the IT "snafu" with HMRC's online filing system, when trying to file your tax returns online on 31 January this year, may be interested to know what the cause of the systems crash was.
Contrary to earlier stories spread by Dave Hartnett that the crash was down to hacking and other nefarious issues, the real cause is far more mundane.
It was a hardware fault that caused 15,000 people to be unable to file their tax returns.
Quite what the nature of the hardware fault was remains a mystery, as HMRC has not disclosed the exact nature of the fault.
Which is rather odd really, given the fact that they work for us. Don't the taxpayers have the right to know what the problem is, given that we are paying for this "service"?
Is "service" a wee bit of an exagerration?
Tim Burr, National Audit Office Comptroller wrote in his report on HMRC's 2007 to 2008 accounts:
"The department secured assurances from its supplier that the online service could be supported at the expected volumes at the peak period.
However, on the day the hardware problem meant that the level of customer attempts to use the online service could not be supported."
Capgemini supplies IT to HMRC under the "popular" with HMRC's staff Aspire contract, which allegedly aims to overhaul technology and reduce running costs.
HMRC and Capgemini are quoted in Computerworld UK:
"The technical issues were caused by a hardware problem which was triggered by a spike in logins. Our systems had been thoroughly capacity tested but this hardware problem meant that we did not manage the January 31 peak as well as we would have liked."
The "spike" was puny in terms of professional well run IT systems. Had they really tested it properly, and designed it well, this would not have happened.
The hardware was replaced in February.
Why did "nearly man" Hartnett tell the world that the crash was down to hackers, given that the real reason must have been known at the time?
Tax does have to be taxing.
HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"