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Friday, 2 March 2012
Caseflow - Spectrum Isn't Green
In September 2011 I wrote the following:
"Despite all the public pronouncements by HMRC that improvements are on schedule, and that targets etc will be met, it appears that one particular target will not be met.
Errrmm, yes actually...Universal Credit, the flagship of the government's plans to simplify the benefits system ."
That prompted a discussion amongst loyal readers (LR's) about the failure of Caseflow.
"and get shot of PaceSetter and Caseflow. These systems cost a colossal amount of taxpayers' money, yet there is not a shred of evidence that HMRC have improved their performance as a consequence of their implementation.
Does anyone know where to find a verifiable figure for the costs to date of PaceSetter and Caseflow?
It's only taxpayers' money that is being wasted, so the management don't care, but I imagine Joe Public and the Public Accounts Committee might be interested how many £millions are being flushed down the loo."
"Re Pacesetter and Caseflow. They will never be ditched as they have never been continuously " reviewed". You will find numbers bandied about hundreds of millions in efficiency savings which conflate increases in productivity with greater tax take all because of the new systems.
UC will have to be delivered, maybe on time, maybe late, because it must. Tax Credits need to be sorted out. Pacesetter will continue as it believed to be the cure to all that ails HMRC ( as well as the rest of the Civil Service).
Case flow is getting regular mentions on the Hotseat. The answers are emphatic. Nothing is wrong, this is simply continuous improvement!"
Well now, here we are almost six months later and Sky reports that taxpayers have spent £98M on two tax collection projects that failed to bring in any extra money.
Can you guess what one of them was children?
Yes, that's right, Caseflow (the other being Spectrum - is Captain Scarlet involved now?).
These new systems were meant to bring in £743M last year. However, the National Audit Office (NAO) has stated that they have not delivered "any additional benefits".
The NAO have warned that HMRC will not meet its future forecasts to collect an additional £8.9BN by 2014/15, thanks to the failure of Caseflow and Spectrum.
Why then when issues are raised at Hotseat about Caseflow failing, are they swept under the carpet with the answer that "Nothing is wrong, this is simply continuous improvement."?
Is a Mysteron agent within HMRC?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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