Feeds

EDS tax fiasco hit with two barrels

Two reports slam supplier

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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

Seven Steps to Software Security

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
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
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
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
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
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.