HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
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.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

HMRC's Special Relationship With Google

As the media, the politicians and the taxpayers of Britain work themselves into a frenzy over Google's £130M deal with HMRC; let us not forget that HMRC has a special symbiotic relationship with Google.

As a loyal reader reminded us all today, HMRC was the first major government department to move to Google Apps as reported by The Register in June 2015.

David Fitton, head of public sector sales for Google UK, wrote on Linkedin at the time:
"The acceptance by HMRC that they can store OFFICIAL information offshore in Google data-centres represents a major change and endorsement of Google's approach to managing sensitive information."
The key thing there is that the data is stored in offshore data-centres.

Therefore, when people moan about Google's offshore tax arrangements, let us not forget that HMRC love a bit of offshoring too (as indeed does their estate management company Mapeley)!

That's what's known as a "special relationship".

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Never mind a total lack of accountability in public sector management, it looks as though ethics and basic morality have followed the 2 discs out of the window.

    Perceptive readers should peruse the Google for Work Security and Compliance Whitepaper how google protects your data at-

    nothing to see here, move along?

    So, when 'customers' send their taxpayer confidential data to hmrc at what point is that CONFIDENTIAL data reduced in security status?

    Do the customers actually send it to hmrc servers or is it automatically diverted to Googles Cloud system for subsequent reference by hmrc as and when?

    It would be interesting to get some answers, maybe via the PAC including do the punters want their data collected and stored by e.g. Google?

    A FOI question around the value of the contract would likely be refused by the taxperson/man/woman/androgenous entity due to 'commercial confidentiality', that would however be BS based on Googles own 'open' claims.

    Edna clouds as Wogan used to say from Atlantic View, Norwich.

  2. I'm surprised that they can store UK individual's personal information on servers outside of the UK.

    1. It used to be expressly forbidden, but I guess that any sensitivities from past times have been overwhelmed by cost considerations and platitudes from suppliers about how secure they'll keep it. Yeah, right.

  3. No, they wouldn't do a 'sweetheart' again, would they?
    So soon after the last one, it's almost as though they have utter contempt for their customers as opposed to a simple institutional indifference. What has happened to this country FFS!?

  4. I can see another catastrophic data breach happening that will make the disc data loss seem trivial.

  5. Forgive me but I can't really see why PLCs' tax data should be 'confidential'.

    We grant them limited liability. They're Public Limited Companies. Why do they deserve secrecy?

    In Sweden almost everyone's tax return is published

    (Maybe a bit far for Britain...)

    1. It's not just PLC tax data that will be stored on Google's offshore servers, but also individuals'.

  6. HMRC had already moved its data to 'the cloud' before Google Apps/Drive.

    1. Indeed so, as noted on this site in 2012