back to article UK taxman outlines its CHIEF concerns for customs IT systems

HMRC execs have set out a series of risks to the development of its new customs IT system, including ensuring that supplier IBM delivers on time and a possible £70m shortfall in funding this year alone. UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit READ MORE The department is …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    ...all should be OK, so long as a government department has IT systems ready in time.

    <sigh> what could possibly go right?

  2. steviebuk Silver badge

    Erm...well there's your first risk.....IBM

    "HMRC execs have set out a series of risks to the development of its new customs IT system, including ensuring that supplier IBM delivers on time and a possible £70m shortfall in funding this year alone."

    That's going to fail then. You're using IBM.

    1. therealvicz

      Re: Erm...well there's your first risk.....IBM

      Has IBM ever delivered anything for Government on time ever?

  3. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    I wonder how they could possibly plan for what the potential leave the EU situation? Maybe by assuming we would leave the EU? Not exactly laying this at HMRC's door as the gov are the ones who should have stepped up to the plate and driven a full brexit. Instead we dont know what we will have which pretty much demonstrates the desperation to force us to remain.

    An interesting approach to light a fire in their pants and get them moving might be to not collect nor try to collect on whatever they do not have systems to process. When less money is being taken by the tax man I expect a few minds will get focused.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      "When less money is being taken by the tax man I expect a few minds will get focused."

      True, but by then it will be too late and we'll be facing huge negotiations to get back in.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @ Doctor Syntax

        "True, but by then it will be too late and we'll be facing huge negotiations to get back in."

        Possibly but that assumes absolute betrayal (still a possibility with how May is going) or that a party advocating joining the EU actually wins an election (libs didnt do well last time).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          "that assumes absolute betrayal"

          ...of 37.5% of the electorate.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @AC

            "...of 37.5% of the electorate."

            Or for the hard of understanding the majority vote.

  4. John Mangan

    Brexit - The kick in the crotch that keeps on aching.

    "The committee also questioned the costs to traders and suppliers of implementing the system, which the execs estimated as being in the region of £17bn to £20bn each year for UK businesses – a burden expected to fall more heavily on SMEs that have to set up manual processes rather than those who can automate systems."

    Now let's see we send £350 million per week to the EU (Brexit bus). and £350 million * 52 = £18 billion so that's that paid for; and then there's another £20 billion, was it, for the NHS from the 'Brexit Bonus' plus the cost of the extra 5000 staff they're employing and the £260 million they''ve been given to try and get a working system. My, that money is working hard, isn't it?

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Brexit - The kick in the crotch that keeps on aching.

      My, that money is working hard, isn't it?

      If you think that's impressive you should have a look at how many times over McMao has spent "bankers bonuses". Last time I did a count he'd spent them 17 times over, assuming no losses due to tax avoidance.

      Politicians talk a load of rubbish: Rosette colour is no exception. Anyone that hasn't worked that out yet, may wish to buy this bridge I have for sale....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How hard can it be? Just have excel spreadsheets and email them to the EU for things going in and out, you could even have formulas for working out how much us UK people are going to get shafted.

    1. bpfh Bronze badge

      Then discover

      How many customs offices still use office 97 and crash at 65535 lines...

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      You can file your MOSS return using an ODS spreadsheet, recent versions of Excel support this format, but you still need systems to extract the data from the spreadsheet, and deal with people who change the template or type stuff where they shouldn't.

  6. NerryTutkins

    A new golden era of prosperity

    We should all relax. Britain is well prepared, indeed, I read today the government are even stockpiling processed food in preparation for the unprecedented golden era of prosperity we'll launch into if we stick to 'no deal'. The europeans by contrast are completely unprepared, the 27 remaining countries of 500 million people aren't stockpiling British food. What are they going to do when they cannot get their Marmite? That should focus minds over there.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: A new golden era of prosperity

      Well, they can relax, Unilever is already headquartered in the Netherlands. This of course, raises the prospect of a golden age of marmite-smuggling off the coast of Norfolk.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: A new golden era of prosperity

        "... a golden age of marmite-smuggling off the coast of Norfolk."

        I for one salute our Marmite-smuggling overlords!

        Is it still smuggling if you carry the stuff from Holland-on-Sea or Great Holland (Essex), or the Parts of Holland (Lincolnshire) to plain old Holland (admittedly on the other side of the North Sea)?

        https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/dutch-links-with-norfolk_norwich.aspx

        Bloody immigrants, coming here to do our drainage works and introducing their Friesian cattle.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: A new golden era of prosperity

      @ NerryTutkins

      The 27 would more likely be interested in the financial services which the Eurozone puts a vast majority through London but is something like 14% (if I remember right) of London's business. Not sure what they would stock up on however, probably any currency but Euro.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A new golden era of prosperity

        "The 27 would more likely be interested in the financial services"

        They certainly will. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44805565

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: A new golden era of prosperity

          @ Doctor Syntax

          "They certainly will. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44805565"

          From your sourse "to set up its subsidiary in Brussels". So what. That is the way to get around the EU rules brought in because we hurt their feewings. It was so reactionary and ill thought through they pissed off a country about to give them bailout money (for the Euro) who held it back until a banking arrangement could be made. AKA another dumbass EU foot shot.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: A new golden era of prosperity

      Marmite is made from the waste effluent of the beer-making process, and similar spreads can be found from the waste effluent byproducts of breweries elsewhere in the world.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A new golden era of prosperity

      " We should all relax. Britain is well prepared, indeed, I read today the government are even stockpiling processed food in preparation for the unprecedented golden era of prosperity we'll launch into if we stick to 'no deal'. "

      Brexiters do like to hark back to the good-old-days. So a reintroduction of rationing would probably have them in paroxysms of nationalistic ecstasy. Spam and powdered eggs anyone?

    5. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: A new golden era of prosperity

      I'm fine. I shop predominantly at Lidl, Aldi so there'll be no shortages there.

  7. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Broken Banks Again...

    I wonder how much revenue is lost to the tax man through the ongoing and continued failures of not only not enough legal tender but ongoing payment processing failure. #snip #moreokthenillkeepgoing

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Broken Banks Again...

      Every proposal that's been released to date fails to mention how much money can be made by carefully avoiding all of the proposed bespoke solutions. No matter what version of Brexit we end up with, Ireland and Gibraltar will get filthy rich of the proceeds under the table.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    But wait, has not HMG just relaeased it's planned "White Paper" after 2 years of convulsions

    on the subject?

    Surely this will give unprecedented levels of clarity on all aspects of the post Brext world?*

    *I'm f**king with you. The real SitRep is FUBAR, just like the day the 13-12 "landslide" was announced.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fallback position SHOULD be...

    If the systems aren't in place to say how much you need to pay - it's free.

    Probably get sorted out then :-)

    1. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: The fallback position SHOULD be...

      Its not saying how much you have to pay that is the issue. That is easy. You can do that with a piece of paper pinned to the notice board at customs.

      Its enforcing it that is hard.

      Hardest of all, and most important, is proving you have paid.

  10. Smoking Man

    Nothing to see here..

    carry on.

    Donald and Boris are here to protect you.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Donald and Boris are here to protect you."

      Not to mention Rupert and Vladimir.

      You are indeed safe in their hands.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    IT Angle

    I wonder how many codgers are still mentis enough to work on the 4GL it was written in?

    It's a 70's 4GL that ICL licensed and (apparently) customized, so you need people with the necessary ICL version experience.

    Sounds like an article for "Computer Resurrection" to me.

    1. Scroticus Canis Silver badge

      Re: I wonder how many codgers are still mentis enough to work on the 4GL it was written in?

      You talking about Quick Build (QB)? Yep, it was a bit crap but good old COBOL worked bloody well with IDMSX under ICL's VME op sys. Still my preferred network-database.

      QB was crap at multiphase transactions due to page and table locks being released at the end of each phase. Had to code your own lock system and needed the low level calls available with the VME/B option.

      To quote my team manager on an ICL to IBM conversion (last century) "A small step forward for IBM but a giant leap backwards for ...."

      It was hard work converting a nicely integrated polished suite of systems to a less flexible architecture. That's just the hardware and op sys aspect. The fact that IBM only did IDMS as a database meant everything had to be recoded as the were no eXtended indexes.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        You talking about Quick Build (QB)?

        Yes, I think so.

        TBH I did look it up but I haven't archived the information.

        It was one of those things that was quite popular in some areas and ICL definitely licensed it and created their own version, so hiring with generic skills would only go so far, and of course the ICL MF architecture, arguably better but less well known than the 360/370/4090/whatever of today.

        Given the time frame was late 70's, early 80's senior devs in their 40's would be in their late 70's? PFY's would be considerable younger (although not necessarily more spry).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder how many codgers are still mentis enough to work on the 4GL it was written in?

      Sounds like my pension plan...

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