PAC demands rejigged IT investment action plan from HMRC by end of March 2021

by Jeremy

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has until the end of March 2021 to provide the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with details about its plans to rejig its technology investment priorities and spend more on modernizing its IT systems. The deadline follows the publication of a 24-page report by the PAC that sought to assess whether the government tax collection agency has the resources and capacity required to deliver on its various commitments, including its ambitious digital transformation strategy.

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“HMRC should write to us, by the end of March 2021, setting out what it is doing and has planned, to focus IT investment on modernization for the future, while retaining resilience, so it can move on from the need to simply keep patching up legacy systems,” the document stated.

This is in response to the conclusions reached in the report that HMRC “has spent too much of its IT budget on patching up legacy systems rather than modernizing them”, and that the “department accepts it should redress the balance between spending too much on legacy and not enough on investing for the future.”

Cost-cutting initiatives mean the department has de-prioritized maintenance work and system upgrades in the past; the report further stated that now mean its IT systems “constitute a significant risk” to the organization.

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