Taxman two months late on cyber-crimefighters deadline
HMRC still wants our dosh on time though
HMRC has missed a key deadline to create teams of cyber crime investigators and launch initiatives to counter the increased threat of web attacks on the authority's systems and customers.
In its structural reform plan progress report (PDF) for December, HMRC says work on the project should have been completed by November 2011, but recruitment activity is still ongoing and the scheme will now not be completed until February.
However, some key posts have been filled and the supporting infrastructure is in place, according to the report.
The government has repeatedly said that it plans to address the lack of IT security experts in Whitehall and late last year published its cyber security strategy outlining how it plans to tackle the issue. It was revealed earlier this month that the government's intelligence service GCHQ was offering retention payments to prevent technology experts leaving for big private firms.
Outlining HMRC's progress on other IT projects, the report discloses that "work is ongoing" on the creation of a data link between the registrars and HMRC to facilitate customer claims and counter fraud. The work is due to be completed in June 2012.
HMRC is also working on the roll-out of an online registration wizard and tax dashboard for businesses by the end of April 2012, as well as launching the IT infrastructure for Real Time Information (RTI) during the same period. A campaign to align employer and HMRC data in order to support a smooth pilot and implement RTI data will happen by the end of April 2013, according to the document.
Other central government departments have also published their structural reform plans progress reports for December. The Department of Health reveals (PDF) that it has not yet completed its action to publish a plan and timetable to deliver greater patient control of records, which was scheduled to be completed by December.
"This action is dependent on the outcome of the NHS Future Forum's further advice on information, published in January 2012, to inform the information strategy, which is to be published by April 2012. It is also linked with the broader cross government transparency agenda," says the report.
The long awaited information strategy has been delayed a number of times since plans for an "information revolution" were first outlined in October 2010.
Separately, the Home Office reveals in its progress report (PDF) that it has not yet implemented the new immigration and asylum biometric system, which the government has said will strengthen its ability to control the entry of foreign nationals into the UK and identify those who pose a risk to Britain. The report discloses that this will now be done in February. IBM has a deal with the department to deliver the system.
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
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Snowball in Hell
They've got as much chance of getting this to work as the proverbial (see above).
Central Government is absolutely hopeless at IT as it doesn't understand the concepts nor does grade IT professionals appropriately to either attract or keep the good ones it's trained.
The sooner Whitehall organises a central IT profession, with meaningful grading, promotion and salary as it does with Economists, Statisticians and others - the more chance it has of ever doing things like this.
In the meantime it will still get a kicking from all the select committees and the press as well as making pigs ears of most large IT projects and reward very large IT providers for a lacklustre service.
Nevermind cyber crimefighting, I'd rather have an email address on correspondence from HMRC so I don't have to wait an hour on hold to ask a two second question...
They get rid of half the staff in year after year, round after round of 'efficiency savings' and then wonder why nothing works. Turns out all those thousands of people that used to work for the HMRC up and down the country weren't standing around doing nothing in the first place. Looks like the Government was lying to us about how it could make savings without effecting front line services. Who knew?