The recent report from the NAO (National Audit Office) brought good tidings about the current and future state of the HMRC and its transformation project. Although the costs have been high, the savings have been significant with £2.4 billion being saved on a spend of £851million.
This is a very different picture for the Revenue, when you compare it to the travesty of the tax credits project a few years back. The HMRC had its fingers well and truly burned back in 2003 when the tax credits system, which had been outsourced to EDS as part of a wider outsourced IT contract, collapsed. This was one of the reasons the contract with EDS was cancelled and the Revenue brought in Capgemini to head up its “Aspire” programme of transformational IT.
The Aspire contract has been much more successful than its predecessor and HMRC will be under pains to make sure it stays that way. So why has the Aspire deal soared to such great heights when the EDS contract collapsed so miserably? While I can’t comment on the intricacies of the deal, it is likely that the two parties have adhered to best practice procedures, which of course gives the best chance of success to a previously failed contract.