As expected, HMRC has confirmed that it is bringing an early end to its tax credits
fraud and error contract with Concentrix, after a
collapse in customer service levels over the summer.
HMRC's chief executive Jon Thompson has already announced that the
tax authority will not be not be renewing its payment-by-results deal (set for expiry in May 2017) with Concentrix, after what he called a
“fundamental failure of basic customer service”.
Thompson said last month that the tax authority was "in the late
stages" of "a legal conversation about how this contract essentially
finishes", and HMRC has now confirmed that both sides have agreed an
early end to the deal.
In a message to HMRC staff, seen by CSW
, director general
for transformation Nick Lodge said HMRC and Concentrix had "worked
together" to bring existing tax credits work in-house.
"Meanwhile, we thought it would be appropriate to look at the
position of the contract and, following further discussions with
Concentrix, we felt we could better serve our customers by ending the
contract early, rather than continuing it through to the scheduled
expiry in May 2017."
Lodge confirmed that the tax authority had now transferred "around
250" Concentrix staff in-house, and said the former private sector staff
were "working with experienced teams and managers to help them fit into
HMRC" at HMRC's Belfast sites.
"Overall, the agreement to end this contract early is the best
outcome for HMRC, tax credits customers and for the taxpayer, allowing
us to continue to bear down on error and fraud, and to provide the
levels of service our customers expect".
In a statement issued to the press, Thompson said:
dedicated staff have cleared all of the cases transferred from
Concentrix while striking the right balance in both providing the
standards of service that customers rightly expect and bearing down on
error and fraud in the tax credits system.
This is the right outcome for customers and for the taxpayer. I’m
also pleased to receive 250 Concentrix staff, who will help us to
deliver our priorities, offering job security to them well beyond the
scheduled expiry of the contract in May 2017.”
HMRC said all 181,000 cases it had taken back from Concentrix had now
been dealt with, and said staff moving over from the private provider
had "received further training and support to help HMRC strike the right
balance in ensuring good customer service and bearing down on error and
fraud in the tax credits system
Right then, how much has this early termination cost the taxpayer?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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