The autumn budget included an announcement that HM Revenue and Customs will receive approximately £750m over the next three years to upgrade its technology infrastructure.
These funds include £468m in system improvements to defend against cyberattacks and modernise the tax system. Interestingly, £277m has been allocated to transform the way IT systems are procured. The spending review documents note that the allocation is targeted at creating more opportunities for smaller businesses to compete for contracts for HMRC, though there are no further details on what this means or how these opportunities for SMEs will evolve.
This investment announcement comes at a time when the department is delivering the Technology Sourcing Programme, a programme that will shed the department of the last elements of the much criticised 'Aspire' contract which saw Capgemini earn over £10bn and become the subject of a Public Accounts Committee Report.
We will keep an eye on how these programmes roll out, particularly the IT procurement improvements and the increased opportunities for small businesses.
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