Feeds

EDS tax fiasco hit with two barrels

Two reports slam supplier

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Two reports from the Parliamentary Ombudsman and Citizens Advice reveal the awful impact of EDS's attempt to provide an IT system for paying poor families tax credit.

Nearly two million people were overpaid a total of £2bn. On averge families were overpaid by £1,000 - money the Revenue then tried to get back pushing them into further financial problems. Some families were forced into rely on food parcels to get by.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation complained that the Inland Revenue claimed the system was working well in 2003, 2004 and again in 2005: "But the cases I have investigated lead me to the conclusion that such reassurances did not give a complete picture of what has been happening, and the devastating effects the IT problems have had on some individuals’ lives, in terms of stress, financial hardship and living with continuous uncertainty regarding their awards.

"It may only have been a minority of tax credit recipients who were affected in this way; but they amount to many tens of thousands of families." The Ombudsman noted that accuracy levels were 78.6 per cent against targets of 90 per cent.

Apart from the two major computer processing problems the Ombudsman found: "The complaints coming to us reveal a wide variety of technical problems or ‘glitches’ which, over the last two years, have affected a considerable number of customers. Indeed, it is difficult to do justice to the sheer range of problems which have affected customers’ awards."

Citizens Advice handled 150,000 cases of families some of whom were threatened with eviction from their homes and were left with weekly incomes as low as £56.

The government's tax credit system aimed to support the poorest families in Britain and help them back into work. The IT system has been a disaster from start to finish with many blaming the Revenue as much as EDS for the problems.

A spokesman for the Revenue said: "This is all historical. Cap Gemini is our supplier now and the system is up and running."®

More details on the Ombudsman's website here.

Citizens Advice here.

Related stories

Gov.uk delves into EDS finances
Customs and tax merger to cost £75m
MPs slams Customs on suck it and see IT

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.