HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is looking for a partner to help the department prepare for the end of its Aspire outsourcing contract in June 2017.
The department has advertised for a “lead transformation partner” to help with the strategic and cultural issues that will emerge when it migrates away from the £800m per year outsourcing deal.
“The successful partner must have experience of managing large post-merger workforce integrations, and the significant people and cultural issues that arise,” said HMRC.
The brief stated that HMRC, and its chief digital and information officer Mark Dearnley, “needs an injection of strategic level experience and capacity to help HMRC process re-engineer and ‘lean’ its IT operation”.
The contract, which has not yet been filled, is offering between £5m and £20m to work alongside HMRC employees as part of a programme management office to oversee the transition away from the outsourcing contract.
“HMRC is dependent on its IT services to collect £505bn in tax and to administer £43bn in benefits each year,” said the brief.
The contract starts in September 2015 and will run to the end of August in 2017, a few months after the Aspire contract ends.
The department indicated it hoped to move away from the long-running contract in 2013, with aims to move to something different when the contract comes to an end in 2017.
Read more about government outsourcing contracts
HMRC found that by moving away from the multibillion-pound outsourcing deal, which has cost around £813m per year over the past 10 years, it expects to save more than £200m a year.
However, there have been concerns over whether the department will find a replacement for the single supplier contract that will fit the guidelines for IT contract length and spending put in place by the Cabinet Office.
Members of parliament warned that if the department does not move quickly, it will be unlikely to successfully move away from the contract by the deadline and may be forced to extend the deal.