Monday 20 February 2012

Aspire Renegotiated

In July 2011 I wrote the following:

"The Guardian reports that the government is paying up to 10 times more for IT projects than the standard commercial rate.

The public administration select committee (PASC) found ministers were "overly reliant" on a few large suppliers, resulting in the waste of an "obscene amount of public money".

Is HMRC being ripped off?

Well, judge for yourselves:

"The Aspire contract between HMRC and Capgemini covers a 13 year period and was originally valued at £2.8 billion.[49] This contract is a case study of what is wrong with the present procurement culture. Such a large contract is too complex to manage. The assessment of costs and benefits is opaque and it commits too much power and money to a single supplier."

Source Government and IT- "A Recipe For Rip-Offs": Time For A New Approach"

HMRC last month renegotiated Aspire (now worth around £8.5BN) with Capgemini, in line with the government's revised IT sourcing strategy.

My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed me to an article in Information Age, which notes that HMRC has agreed "operational efficiency and cost savings" with Capgemini. Additionally, work that is currently subcontracted to over 240 suppliers by Capgemini may (note that is only "may", not "will") be transferred to direct contracts with HMRC.

The last renegotiation of Aspire in 2009 aimed to save £110M per annum, by scrapping the legacy systems taken on board by the merger of the Revenue and Customs and Excise, and by shutting down a number of data centres.

Unfortunately, the renegotiated contract details are confidential.

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  1. One of the most glaring occurances that i have noticed with virtually any contract HMRC has - PFI or otherwise is that they just havent got a clue how to negotiate it so they get value for money, its absolutely endemic in this department. Time and time again its the tail wagging the dog, i truly beleive any contractor who deals with them must be rubbing their hands with glee, it literally is a license to print money they run rings around these clowns who deal with procurement. HMRC really are clueless its no wonder they are in the shit they are.

    1. tht's the the shit WE are all in... it includes all of us, not just HMRC procurement et al.

      and of course you and I and everyone else is paying for it both financially and in the time it takes to make the system work.

      somebody needs as Jeremy Clarkson said and apparently didn't breach any rules 'taken outside and shot'.

  2. Many of those legacy systems actually work fine. The answer has been to replace many of them with one great big expensive white elephant (called Caseflow) which doesn't work (and in fact is worse than useless and everyone forced to work with it hates it with a vengeance), but it (allegedly) "better fits HMRC's strategic direction, vision, purpose and way"... so that's OK then... LMFAO!!!

  3. Therein lies the fundamental issue... the moment you make ICT a profit-center, you add costs. Plain and simple. The company will not deliver services without making a profit. ICT should be a fully transparent cost-center in any public sector environment.