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Thursday, 8 March 2012
HMRC Halves IT Spend - Is Phil Pavitt a Mysteron?
Phil Pavitt (HMRC's Chief Information Officer and director of change) has told a public sector efficiency expo in London that HMRC has reduced its spending on IT from £1.4BN to £700M in two years.
That's quite an achievement for a man who, when he was at NTL, oversaw the "Harmony" project; which was designed to unify eight billing platforms and 28 CRM databases. Harmony was late and over budget.
Seemingly the cuts in HMRC have not come at the expense of quality of service.
Pavitt is quoted in the Guardian:
"This year it was just under £700m, and by the end of the spending review it will be just over £600.
And yet the service quality has dramatically improved, not measured by me, but measured by the speaker after me [Amyas Morse, comptroller and auditor general at the National Audit Office]."
This being the same NAO that, in July 2011, said:
"There is clear evidence that HMRC is beginning to stabilise its administration of PAYE, following the disruption to processing which flowed from the introduction of its new computer system.
However, stabilisation will not be fully complete until 2013, according to the Department, and it will need to deliver its plan to improve PAYE data quality if it is to realise the benefits of the new system and prepare for the move to real time information."
This also being the same NAO that in March 2012 stated that Caseflow and Spectrum have not delivered "any additional benefits", and warned HMRC that it will not meet its future forecasts to collect an additional £8.9BN by 2014/15, thanks to the failure of Caseflow and Spectrum.
Anyhoo, ignoring those "small points", Pavitt went on to state that HMRC had 31 platforms in place two years ago, but now only has one.
"We identified one of those and said, 'Okay, we're going to migrate to that. Whatever that one is we're also going to modernise to the latest version,' which we perhaps hadn't always had in every part of our business.
The cost of the new platform is much cheaper than the running and the maintenance of the old platform. Freeing up and reinvesting that money means we'll replace every single application - two-thirds of our infrastructure - in the next four years for the outlay of less than £20m, when the original bill was closer to £200m.
Not a pipe dream, but a commercial reality.
If you have call centres attracting a large number of calls, but their IT is not available for 120 to 150 minutes a week, that introduces a level of inefficiency.
If you have call centres whose IT is a 100% month after month, inevitably you give the business a chance to improve their operation, which they have done, to meet the need of the customer.
IT transformation, which foreruns some of the bigger transformations at HMRC, was critical to get right."
So there you are folks, everything is fine!
I wonder if Pavitt is the Mysteron agent within HMRC, that I referred to the other day?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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