HMRC to offshore tax work? Follow-ups by Times, Telegraph and Mail

The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail have reported our article on HM Revenue and Customs’ Quantum project – a scheme which seeks savings of £205m a year on HMRC’s IT budget. Our article was also mentioned on BBC and commercial radio news

Their reports include HMRC denials that some of the work being done by the Capgemini under its £8.5bn outsourcing contract with the department could be transferred to India to save money.

Interestingly, HMRC gave Computer Weekly gave no such denial when we had asked it to comment on the possibility of tax work going to India.

The Public and Commercial Services union, whose members work for HMRC and Capgemini, says in a memo to staff that the Quantum project team is looking at the potential of offshoring sensitive tax work to India.

Our understanding is nothing has been ruled out,  particularly as savings of £205m a year, which is about 30% of the IT budget,  will require radical solutions. The Quantum team is looking at “alternative delivery arrangements” for IT, according to one of the documents we have seen.  

A report on the results of Quantum’s findings is due to be ready internally next month.
The Daily Mail article had commented on some of Computer Weekly’s articles. It said that Computer Weekly “regularly embarrasses ministers with disclosures about failing IT contracts”.

Sensitive tax work may go abroad as HMRC seeks to cut outsourcing costs

Revenue tax data outsourcing plans anger unions – the Times

HMRC to outsource sensitive tax work to India? – IT Projects blog

Millions of tax returns could be outsourced to India  – D Telegraph

Confidential tax files could be sent to India – D Mail



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Once again Tony Collins looks to trash Government IT without any evidence to support his ridiculous claims. As stated in an intranet article at HMRC there is 'no truth' in what Mr Collins states and he has again been suckered in by the unions.

The evidence supporting what we said in the story is on the IT Projects blog:

The story did not trash Government IT. It took the view of some of HMRC's staff - and managers - that it will be difficult to save £205m a year under the Quantum project without disrupting plans to modernise HMRC's IT estate, and without affecting the quality of service.

Indeed documents produced by HMRC's main IT suppliers Capgemini and Fujitsu say it is going to be difficult to achieve the savings, though they believe it will be possible.

Nobody should pretend that all is well at HMRC.

This is what the Treasury Committee said last month about morale at HMRC. Note the Treasury report was published before our article on the aim of the Quantum project to save £205m a year on the IT budget.

"... The evidence we received suggested that morale in HMRC was low. The latest HMRC

staff survey showed that only one quarter of respondents described themselves as “proud to

work” for HMRC.

"The staff survey from Summer 2008 was the last to gauge the level of satisfaction with the department. Results showed that only 16% of staff agreed that they were “satisfied” with HMRC.

"Mr Lockhart, a Senior National Officer for the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), highlighted that morale in HMRC was currently lower than before the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise in 2005.

"It is evident that the trend in morale in recent years has been decreasing...

"Mr Lockhart elaborated on reasons why morale might be low among members of PCS. He explained that they did not feel secure in their jobs and were frustrated that they were expected to undertake the same workload with fewer staff..."