Feeds

Revenue admits another IT cock-up

More magnificence from Keystone Kops

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the government top provider of IT-related disasters, has blamed programming errors for its failure to make payments to about 100,000 low-income families.

The £250 grants should have gone into child trust fund accounts, to top up the £250 payment made to all children.

Kitty Ussher, economic secretary to the Treasury, told a committee of MPs yesterday that the discrepancy between the forecast number of payments and those actually made was due to "an IT technical problem, which we are currently working on with our contractors to resolve".

Ussher said: "This seems to be a technical issue which I, as Minister, was made aware of when I returned from some months' parental leave last week... It is a technical thing. It is due to the way the various computers at HMRC (and I defer to colleagues here) talk to each other around people who are eligible for benefit payments and actually paying them out the additional Child Trust Fund payments."

Ussher said tens of thousands of families were yet to receive payment as a result of the programming error.

She also told the Treasury Select Committee that a separate problem had also affected tens of thousands of families. "I think it is tens of thousands for the IT programming error that we know about. There is an additional discrepancy, which is also tens of thousands, that we have not quite got to the bottom of."

She said she would write to the committee chairman once she knew more. She promised that when payments were made they would include interest.

The uncorrected committee evidence is available here.

HMRC, which has still not found the computer discs containing 25m child benefit records, and was forced to delay the deadline for submitting tax returns this year because its website fell over.

It also emerged today that a simple problem with its website is still stopping many companies getting tax refunds.

Figures released on Monday revealed HMRC is still overpaying tax credits by about £1bn in 2006 to 2007. The Revenue celebrated this as a large reduction from the £2.2bn it lost in 2003 to 2004.

The Lib Dems reckon this means total over payments are now just short of £10bn. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.