TaxAdministrationLamey ‘excellent’ choice for HMRC

Lamey 'excellent' choice for HMRC

The combined Revenue and Customs department finally has a newchief information officer - Steve Lamey - who is currently performing the same role for the BG Group.

‘IT will play a critical role in our ability to build an efficient new department, and improve the service we provide to our customers,’ said executive chairman David Varney, who was appointed earlier this year.

‘Lamey combines a proven track record as a CIO with hands-on experience of managing change, and I’m delighted he’s joining us.’

Since October 2000, Lamey has served as CIO and vice president of information management for BG Group. Before that he worked for BOC in a variety of positions, including director of global information management user services.

John Handby, chief executive of IT director’s forum CIO Connect, said he thought that Lamey was an ‘excellent appointment’.

‘He’s done a tremendous job at BG and he has the strength of character to deal with the role,’ said Handby.

But he warned that Lamey faces a ‘massive task’ in dealing with the huge HMRC databases. ‘It’s the combination of scale and complexity, plus political considerations, in terms of the relationship between the government and public services, that are the biggest challenges ahead.’

Lamey should not be too shocked by the public sector culture, according to Handby, as BG also has a ‘public sector feel’ due to its history as a government-owned unit.

‘When you join a former public sector organisation, such as BG, then you will have already experienced that kind of culture – even if BG wasn’t public when Lamey joined.’

The remit of Lamey’s newly created role covers information strategy and technology. He will also inherit the Revenue’s strategic partnership with IT outsourcer Capgemini, known as Aspire, and Customs’ PFI contract with Fujitsu.

A spokesman could not confirm when Lamey would start the job, although he is expected to join HMRC ‘shortly’.

Lamey follows in the footsteps of several high-profile public sector IT appointments from industry. Former management consultant, Richard Granger, took charge of the £2.3bn IT modernisation programme for the NHS in 2002, and Accenture chief Ian Watmore was recently appointed head of e-government.

ICI Paints COO Joe Harley also took responsibility for the DWP’s £3bn IT programme earlier this year.

One of the most important tasks that Lamey faces is ensuring there is minimum fuss and disruption between the departments as the companies merge. Ian Pretty, head of policy and strategy at the Revenue’s Aspire Unit, recently confirmed that using IT to deliver business transformation is ‘more important than ever.’ ‘We need to make sure we are up to speed as soon as possible,’ he explained.

IT CHANGES AT BG GROUP

– SAP project rollout to standardise core business processes across the world and integrate a fragmented information management function

– IT suppliers reduced from 190 to 80

– Document management system tool to manage content for BG Tunisia

– BG Group awards contract for a remote access product to connect staff to their SAP portal anywhere in the world

– IDC’s opinion of BG Group’s SAP rollout: ‘While many of the benefits … will remain intangible, the ROI based on measurable benefits shows a healthy payback’.

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