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HMRC: Moving our data to the cloud will make it MORE secure

Skyscape deal will net £1m savings, claims UK taxman

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to move data it currently stores in local offices to a new centralised government cloud computing depository in a move it says will save it £1m a year and improve on the security of its IT services.

HMRC said it had signed a contract with Skyscape Cloud Services to enable it to store data in the cloud for the purposes of delivering "G-Cloud Services over the Public Services Network".

The network was set up by the government to "substantially reduce the cost of communication services across UK Government and enable new, joined-up and shared public services for the benefit of citizens," according to the Cabinet Office.

HMRC said that it will begin moving data from its offices into cloud storage from this autumn until early spring next year, and that delivering services through the cloud would "provide cheaper, more secure and greener data storage for HMRC" and also help the body to comply with Government targets aimed at increasing "the efficiency of the public sector and improve front-line services".

"This change will save over £1 million a year in running costs and will increase reliability and security of HMRC’s internal IT services," HMRC's chief information officer Phil Pavitt said. "The Skyscape contract is a major step for HMRC in moving away from traditional ways of working with large service providers. And it’s a great example of how we’re exploring smarter, more innovative solutions that make life simpler for us and help us provide a better deal for our customers."

Out-Law.com asked HMRC to detail what types of data would be stored in the cloud and, if personal information was among that data, what measures the organisation had taken to ensure compliance with data protection laws.

"HMRC does not discuss details of the security measures in place to protect its data; we are, however, able to confirm that using our new system such data will continue to be kept in accordance with existing legislation and policies," an HMRC spokesperson said in a statement.

Copyright © 2012, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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