Feeds

Government negotiating on tax credit refund

Circles EDS

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
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.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.