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back to article HMRC strops its chopper, eyes £235m IT slash plan

HM Revenue and Customs is aiming to save £235m from changes to IT services as part of plans to cut its running costs by some 25 per cent over the next four years, says a report by the National Audit Office. The document, "Reducing Costs in HM Revenue and Customs", says the department's annual running costs in 2010-11 were £3.6bn …

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HMRC? What are they for?

"It is making progress, but there is no contingency in its plans. To achieve value for money, it needs to better define the service it is aiming for, improve its understanding of costs and develop its implementation plan."

Allow me to help, if you will. Your job is collect taxes. You can start with Vodafone. Once you have the 6 billion they owe you then you will have more room to manoeuver.

Spending money chasing one big tax dodger will yield much better results than spending money chasing millions of small ones.

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WTF?

A good start

Get rid of the overpriced outsourcing IT deal with fujedserco, find a value for service one, not a backhander old boys net directors a mate of his company.

should clear that backlog in no time with money to but new pc's every 3 years, not just as candy temptation every rebid

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Anonymous Coward

Do tell

So where does this "better value" come from?

The stuff that costs the money in the contract isn't the stuff you see on desks, it's the servers that run the services, the secured comms links to connect to those services, the paperwork that the government insist gets pushed around to do *anything*.

For example, creating a user account requires an authorised change request signed off by five people following a discussion at a change board of 10-12 people *and then* the security clearance of the user is double-checked by the admin creating the account. 21 people to create a user account.

Why?

Because every time someone makes a mistake something is added to the process to try to prevent that mistake happening again and causing embarrassment for HMG.

If we didn't hound someone out of office because they signed a form in the wrong colour ink then there wouldn't need to be a process in place to check they signed the form in the right colour and we could all get better value.

Oh, and "less money" does not always equate to "better value". I can buy a tin of beans in Aldi for 9p, but it's not very good value because they're pretty much inedible.

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Black Helicopters

tittle

From the title I read that as they had a helicopter. Presumably for high profile swoops on accounts departments?

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choppers

You're not the only one.

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choppers

"strops its chopper" sounds more like having a wank and, given who the article is about, is most appropriate.

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Anonymous Coward

Sell the buildings

Maybe they could sell the buildings used by IT services & lease them back.

Might show as a saving te first year, though after a few they would probably end up paying more in rent that they got for the buildings in the first place.

What's that - they already did this ?

Ah well - at least they will get some of the rent back in tax.

What's that - the company they sold to is registered in Bermuda , so they won't be getting any tax back ?

Tossers.

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Bronze badge

Sticking to the IT angle...

"According to the findings, HMRC had a good understanding of spending on a number of areas, including IT, and its corporate services section had good unit cost information, for example on IT.

But the department had only limited information on the costs of its end-to-end processes and its servicing of different customer groups, and on the links between costs and value. This restricted its ability to assess long-term efficiency gains."

hmmm...

let's look at what George Osborne said on 16 May 2011

"It used to cost government over £10 to process a driving license (sic) application or a self-assessment tax form.

Online, the cost is less than £2."

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_48_11.htm

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Why is it...

... that HMRC has been having to _increase_ staff with increasing computerisation?

Apart from the aforementioned olde boys networks, I suspect there's a hell of a lot of featherbedding going on (Civil service menagers generally get pay scales based on how many people are working under them, so there's very little incentive for efficiency drives - especially ones which might well put the managers themselves out of a job)

(FWIW, New Zealand's Customs/Inland Revenue departments merged years ago and along with increasing computerisation and a simpler tax system managed to lay off over half of the staff they'd employed 10 years previously)

The simplest way of increasing net tax revenue is to reduce collection costs - and this can even result in the gross tax burdens _shrinking_.

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I never thought I'd do this but...

annual cost of HMRC about £6bn annual tax take about £650bn (all ish but ball park) even if you deduct automatic collection by PAYE and VAT the ratio is about 6:100, yes perhaps it should be half that, or something, but we're not discussing cost cutting by a bank or supermarket

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