Feeds

EDS and HMRC skewered by MPs - again

Overpayments to top £2.2bn - again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Public Accounts Select Committee has become the latest group of MPs to lay into the HMRC and its serially unlucky former IT partner, EDS, in the latest report on tax credits debacle.

A report by the committee says that overpayments for 2004 to 2005 are expected to be around £2.2bn – the same as the 2003-2004 overpayment that first dragged the scheme into disrepute last year.

The committee said the problems were primarily down the way the scheme is run. Payments in a given year are provisionally paid based on the previous year’s income, and are only finalised when the year in question is over. Because incomes tend to increase, the committee says, it is very easy for applicants to be overpaid. Hardship then results when the government attempts to claw back overpayments. The committee noted the department had made a £1bn provision for doubtful debts. It also noted that recent budget changes should reduce the level of overpayments.

EDS was also targeted in the report, which said computer cock-ups also led to incorrect payments being made. EDS was finally forced off the contract in late 2003.

Gross losses down to EDS amount to £209m, the committee said, of which £105m is being clawed back from claimants. The department has reached a settlement with EDS of £71.25m, including cash payments from EDS and “the off setting of certain amounts which would otherwise have been due from HMRC to EDS”. Staged payments of £26.5m are contingent on EDS winning more business from the government.

The part of the settlement for EDS’s mistakes that depends on the services giant grabbing more public contracts has angered members of the committee. Committee chairman Edward Leigh described this as “an invidious position”, according to the BBC. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.