Feeds

Government negotiating on tax credit refund

Circles EDS

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

HMRC is in 'delicate negotiations' with EDS on retrieving money the firm owes, according to the Treasury's parliamentary secretary.

The firm, now part of HP, agreed to pay HM Revenue and Customs £71m following severe IT problems over tax credits in 2003, with £26.5m of that discounted from future government business. HMRC had originally claimed £209m.

However, as Conservative MP Richard Bacon told a debate on findings of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament on 23 October 2008, most of it is still outstanding.

"Apart from the fact [the agreement] gave government departments a rather strong incentive to award EDS further business despite, rather than because of, its track record, it has been clear that over the past two and half to three years since the agreement was reached hardly any money has been paid," he told the Commons.

Angela Eagle, parliamentary secretary to the Treasury, answered that HMRC is "in delicate negotiations on that very subject. The time by which HMRC expects to be paid runs out in the next couple of months and the acting CEO made it clear that he intends to be paid," she said, referring to HMRC's acting head Dave Hartnett.

Eagle added that the government was determined to tackle waste through more joint procurement, pointing out that the public sector spends £175bn this way each year, with £70bn by Whitehall departments.

"As part of transforming the government procurement process, we are also trying to give much more training and recognition to procurement professionals across Whitehall. We want to begin to create a cross-Whitehall and cross-departmental culture of procurement," she said.

Following criticism by Labour MP Austin Mitchell of "too much enthusiasm for big IT projects," such as the NHS National Programme for IT, Eagle said that the Office of Government Commerce is developing a system called the Major Projects Review Group to monitor the progress of large projects.

Mitchell replied that so far, the role of the OGC has been "that of a marriage bureau, lining up departments with IT firms and consultancies, rather than looking at the projects themselves and asking, 'Are they too big? Are they trying to do too much?'"

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.