Poor old Stephen Timms (Treasury minister) is having a rather rough week this week, having first signed off on the secret VAT increase he now has been forced to admit to parliament that HMRC has no accurate cost estimates over the 25 major IT projects that they are running.
Best guess estimates are that these projects are costing the taxpayer at least £197M, small money compared with the billions that the government has risked on bailing out various banks etc.
In a parliamentary written answer Timms said:
"Many of our IT projects are at an early stage in their development lifecycle, and detailed technical solutions and IT supplier costs are yet to be established.
The figures shown below are therefore estimates and remain subject to revision, finalisation and formal investment approval."
That's all very well, but other departments have managed to provide more accurate estimates for their IT projects, and the private sector obtains cost estimates and project specifications before going ahead with projects.
Why can't HMRC?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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