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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.
Monday, 15 March 2010
It seems that HMRC are having a few IT issues (eg delays in implementing new systems) that has left HMRC with 35 million tax cases to be manually processed.
The Treasury Select Committee recently reported that open cases have more than doubled from 16.2M in 2007.
The Treasury Select Committee's report states:
"Against this background, we were surprised to see HMRC declare in its Annual Report that 'HMRC has been hailed as a shining example of how to use technology to take government services to a new level'."
The report notes that progress re improving the 92 systems, that HMRC claim are critical to operations, has been "uneven" despite the "substantial investment".
4 54. In its Annual Report 2009, HMRC claims that it is hitting its target to improve customers' experience, and that "results indicate that customer satisfaction exceeds our target levels." We find it hard to reconcile these claims with its customer complaint levels and call response rates. Whilst we accept that these are not the whole picture, we urge HMRC to reflect on whether customer experiences of HMRC are yet improving as much as the DSO2 "strong progress" summary implies.
In particular, call response rates—though improving—remain at unacceptably low levels. The April 2011 target of answering 90% of calls remains challenging and will continue to require the attention of senior management.
68. In a previous report, we recommended that HMRC improve its contracts with IT providers, noting that one new IT system had been delayed by a year. One consequence of this delay is that, during 2008-09, the number of open cases (where a case requires manual clerical attention) increased from 16.2 million in 2007-08 to 35 million.
Against this background, we were surprised to see HMRC declare in its Annual Report that "HMRC has been hailed as a shining example of how to use technology to take government services to a new level." Lesley Strathie, however, remained bullish about HMRC's IT progress, including a new agreement with its suppliers under the Aspire contract "which will significantly reduce cost for department over the coming years."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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