HMRC doubles in-house software development team

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is doubling its software development team to 600 to reduce reliance on large outsourcers, says CIO Mark Hall

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) plans to double its number of software developers to 600 in moves to reduce its reliance on large outsourcers such as Capgemini and its existing Aspire contract.

Over the next three years the department intends to grow its in-house team by 300, HMRC’s CIO Mark Hall told Computer Weekly.

The move will help bolster capability ahead of the Aspire contract expiring in 2017. HMRC’s previous CIO Phil Pavitt had already done much to bring in more competition to the contract, said Mark Hall. Pavitt also renegotiated contract savings of £200m per year.

Hall said that, when the Aspire contract runs its course in four years’ time, it will not be renewed in its current form. “My piece is to work toward 2017 and how to build capability internally around commercial, business analysis, digital capability and adopting agile methodologies.

“We are looking at the role of the in-house team. Currently we have around 300 people working as software developers, we are looking to double that over the next three years and build an ecosystem of SMEs around them,” Hall said.

HMRC already has a high level of existing capability. Many of the department’s developers already have the same level of accreditation as its outsource suppliers, said Hall.

The recruitment will also help the department to become digital, with ambitions to become paperless in the way it interacts with the public, said Hall.

HMRC has been working closely with the Government Digital Service (GDS) and is forming its own HMRC Digital Service Unit.

“This isn’t about looking to in-source everything, but moving to a more mixed environment,” said Hall.

“We don’t want a big procurement, and we are trying to create a slide path toward internal capability.”

Hall said the future structure would be moving to the system integration and management model (Siam).

“It will be more of a mixed economy, rather than one big contract.”

He said either the department itself would take on the Siam, or would find a supplier to act as integrator on its behalf.

However, there has been a reluctance on the part of suppliers to take on the role of Siam in government, as it is viewed as the most risky and least lucrative option.


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