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Poor IT maintenance could lead to chaos for tax system

Tax administration in the UK could experience chaos due to a careless stance on HMRC’s IT maintenance, says the Public Accounts Committee.

The organisation claims in its recent report that the tax body showed little understanding of the task ahead in replacing the contract it currently has in place with Aspire for software and hardware maintenance. The contract is due to expire in 2017.

The current agreement has worked well for the past 10 years, although HMRC has shown poor ability to manage the contract costs, said PAC.

The committee said.

“HMRC is aware of the risks involved in replacing the Aspire contract but it has not quantified them.

“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 although this was originally expected before July 2014.”

HMRC has not done enough in understanding what is needed and has failed to offer the government a case, the committee has suggested. It does seem apparent, however, that it plans to move from the singe contract it currently has in place to a different model with a number of short-term contracts to be agreed with numerous suppliers. This is in compliance with governmental procurement policy.

HMRC may yet experience havoc with regards to its IT systems, but that doesn’t mean UK firms should become complacent with their own end of the bargain. Whether filing their own claims or working with an accountant in the Wirral, it is as important as ever that their books be as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

Posted by Peter
February 3, 2015

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