EDS escapes blame for Revenue website

No indication has yet been offered as to when the Revenue will reintroduce its site, despite it having been out of action since last month. A spokeswoman for the Revenue said it was eager to ensure the problem had been solved before it was reintroduced.

Under the terms negotiated by the Revenue and EDS when the company was awarded a ten-year PFI contract in 1994 worth £1.6bn, the Revenue can levy ‘financial remedies’ on EDS for failure to meet criteria.

But the Revenue told Accountancy Age this week that it was happy with the work carried out by its partner and said EDS had met the vast majority of targets specified for system availability.

A Revenue spokeswoman, said: ‘We will not be looking to apportion any blame or point our fingers in any way to our IT partner EDS.’

An EDS statement, added: ‘Until the situation has been investigated EDS cannot comment further. However, the internet service for SA is not down and people can still send their tax returns over the internet if they are using any commercial software products.’

However, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Matthew Taylor queried the terms of the Revenue/EDS contract. He said: ‘The whole point of PFI contracts is that the government only pays for what it gets. With internet tax returns, taxpayers aren’t getting anything so why aren’t EDS being penalised?’

He added: ‘We need to know which minister was incompetent enough to agree a contract where the taxpayer foots the bill while EDS takes the profits even though the system failed to work.’

Related reading