HMRC recently launched a £20M tender for consulting firms to guide its IT department.
HMRC wants increased control over projects, as well as increased competition lowering profit-making. The current contract with Capgemini ends in 2017 and, theoretically, HMRC wants the new changes up and running by then.
Currently Capgemini co-ordinates HMRC's main sub-contractors Fujitsu and Accenture. However, aside from issues highlighted by a 2014 National Audit Office report, recent benchmarking studies also show that of the around £10BN (yes you did read the figure correctly!) the project is expected to cost by 2017, Capgemini will be making 16% profit (ie £1.2BN).
FACTOID: The original profit projection was a "mere" £0.5BN!
Under the new procurement system, HMRC will seek to have its IT systems managed by up to 400 IT subcontract suppliers, with no contract worth more than £100M.
However, as Consultancy UK notes, not everyone believes however that bringing in a large number of small players will improve the quality of service or lower operating costs. Mark Dearnley, HMRC's Chief Information and Digital Officer, says that getting rid of Aspire for a new system could itself cost up to £600M.
Additionally, the government’s Chief Commercial Officer Bill Crothers warns that if wide-ranging changes are to be made then planning needs to start early:
“This is enormous, risky and important, and that should guide what we do. Sitting behind this is getting better capability, being a better client and doing things in a phased way as much as possible...we should not be complacent.”When has a government department ever fucked up an IT project?
Oh, hang on......
Tax does have to be taxing.
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