HMRC prepares to tender for large anti-fraud facility for tax credits

HM Revenue & Customs in Salford is preparing to tender for a new anti-fraud facility to support its large call centre there.

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HM Revenue & Customs in Salford, Greater Manchester, is preparing to tender for a new anti-fraud facility to support its large call centre there.

The "UK-Salford: Benefits and Credits, Error and Fraud Adding Capacity" contract will be awarded in the new year.

HMRC wants to add to its existing operational and data analytics capacity to increase the number of successful tax credits error and fraud interventions to further reduce overall losses.

HMRC anticipates the supplier undertaking in excess of four million reviews and compliance interventions over a three-year period, compatible with the existing HMRC legislative and procedural framework, adding to HMRC's internal capability.

This service needs to be capable of "flexing up or down" to reflect demand and results. The expectation is that the supplier will help to identify tax credits customer awards that may be subject to error and/or fraud, collect and assess evidence from claimants and make decisions on the circumstances affecting tax credits entitlement.

Where amendment to the customer award is required it is envisaged that the supplier will process those changes to the tax credits core IT systems. The supplier would be expected to maintain HMRC customer service and Charter standards throughout the period of the service.

The supplier will be required to operate under strict adherence to HMRC's legislative framework. The process may include risk profiling tax credits data, using HMRC or other data, engaging with tax credits customers to validate the information provided, upon which their awards are calculated and make decisions on their entitlement.

Critically, the supplier must meet stringent security demands as it must host HMRC IT systems on its own estate.

HMRC data security rules mean that no work will be undertaken offshore by the supplier, either directly or indirectly.

HMRC says it is seeking a "sustainable, innovative and adaptable service to carry out an end-to-end tax credits error and fraud interventions service" compatible with existing HMRC processes.

The chosen supplier or suppliers will be required to demonstrate a "flexible recruitment capability commensurate with delivery of the service on a supplier managed estate" and maintaining a "commensurate workforce throughout the period of the service with the ability to increase and reduce it to meet demand".

The supplier must also be able to "mobilise and deliver HMRC and supplier training material" and manage an "in-year suite of interventions into different tax credit risks, as well as providing ancillary support".

It is currently envisaged that payment will be on a "payment-by-results basis" designed to "incentivise suppliers to be innovative" and deliver HMRC Annual Managed Expenditure savings to agreed targets. However, "this may be subject to change", said HMRC in its pre-tendering document.

An event in Preston will be held by HMRC for those suppliers interested in bidding for the contract.

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