WGPlus (Archive)

HMRC 'Aspire' to unachievable transformation

HMRC faces an enormous challenge in moving to a new contracting model by 2017 and appears overly complacent given the scale of the transformation required according Public Accounts Committee's to the report - Managing and replacing the Aspire contract - published last week.

Richard Bacon MP said:  "The Aspire contract between HMRC and Capgemini is the Government’s largest technology contract, which has cost some £7.9bn over the last 10 years and generated profits for the suppliers of some £1.2bn, while enabling the collection each year of the Government’s tax revenue, amounting to over £500bn in 2013-2014.

HMRC faces an enormous challenge in moving to a new contracting model by 2017, with many short-duration contracts with multiple suppliers, and appears complacent given the scale of the transformation required.  Moreover, HMRC’s record in managing IT contractors gives us little confidence that HMRC can successfully achieve this transition or that it can manage the proposed model effectively to maximise value for money………

Although HMRC decided three years ago to move in principle to a new contracting model it still does not have a detailed business case for the change.  HMRC says it hopes to publish the business case in the spring, which will leave only two years to engage the market, recruit the skills, and procure and manage the transition of the services it will need before the existing contract expires in 2017.

HMRC expects the new arrangements to reduce its running costs by 25%. However, the Department still cannot estimate the cost of this change, in terms of moving staff, equipment and office space; it could not even provide the Committee with a range.  We do not believe that the Cabinet Office’s ‘red lines’ on IT procurement, such as its restriction on any IT contracts over £100 million, are realistic in a business as large as HMRC’s, or that transformation on this scale is achievable by July 2017."

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