The Inland Revenue has been reported to the Office of Fair Trading by a furious software provider in a move which may have implications for government e-commerce initiatives.
Forbes Software, with the full support of IT provider’s tradegroup BASDA, has reported the Revenue for ‘anti-competitive action’ after it carried out ‘a last minute’ switch to allow Microsoft to provide its TaxSaver software free to self-assessment e-filers.
It was thought 15 or 20 UK software providers were set to compete in this arena after they spent the past year helping the Revenue launch its e-filing website.
The decision could see future Revenue projects frustrated through lack of co-operation from software houses.
Dennis Keeling, Basda chief executive, said: ‘I’m afraid that if the government expects co-operation on these terms, it will be disappointed. BASDA and its members helped the Revenue achieve its objectives – unfortunately it has opted to destroy ours.’
Nobody at the Revenue was available for comment.
The move came only days after the National Audit Office warned the Inland Revenue that IT giant EDS wields ‘undue’ influence over it.
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