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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.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Security and Outsourcing II
As a result of media reports about the possibility of tax work being outsourced to India, the following internal memo was issued by the CEO of Capgemini to all of its staff:
"To all Capgemini Aspire employees
Response to media reports today
You may well have read - or watched - media reports today about Project Quantum, the work initiated by HMRC to streamline and reduce the cost of all its IT services.
As HMRC's strategic IT partner, we are working closely with the Department to continue achieving sustainable value for money for the work we do.
Discussions about the Aspire aspects of Project Quantum have been underway for some time, and although good progress is being made between Capgemini, Fujitsu and HMRC no firm agreements have yet been arrived at. Once we have agreed any changes, we will naturally share them with you.
The media coverage included reference to offshoring sensitive data. HMRC has strongly refuted claims that UK taxpayer data could be processed in India and most press reports carry this correction.
As you are all aware our contract prohibits delivery of any aspect of Aspire from outside of the UK.
Although the concept of offshoring has been debated and explored, there are no plans to change this contractual position as part of Quantum.
I should like to take this opportunity to remind you that, if contacted by the media, you should not make any comment, but ask the caller to contact the HMRC Press Office directly ..."
Aspire is worth about £8.5BN in total over its estimated life.
The key phrase in the memo is this:
"Although the concept of offshoring has been debated and explored, there are no plans to change this contractual position as part of Quantum."
There is a clear desire to outsource, to my view, as they would not have wasted time and money debating and exploring it. There may well be no plans at the moment (were they nixed as a result of the leak and media reports?).
However, plans and contracts can change.
Here, by way of information, is some further background on Project Quantum, a plan to cut costs at HMRC by at least £205M a year, and Aspire.
"Mutual collaboration" between HMRC, Capgemini and Fujitsu is deemed to be the "most expedient route to success".
"Success is predicated upon complex dependencies - so any arrangement has to be treated as a bundle. Many things need to be done in parallel - need do-ability check when choices [are] clear.
We need to create headroom to fund essential change - neither HMRC or [sic] Aspire has additional cash to do this.
We believe there is a solution but it complicates the dependencies.
Early savings drive investment pot for subsequent work. Timing [is] critical again."
The background (extracts of leaked papers) can be read on Computer Weekly.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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