Feeds

Revenue admits another IT cock-up

More magnificence from Keystone Kops

Security for virtualized datacentres

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
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
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
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
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.