Feeds

Government negotiating on tax credit refund

Circles EDS

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.