The PAC concluded in its report on the handling of the ‘Aspire’ computer
system contract, that the way HM Revenue & Customs awarded the contract
failed to reflect that its IT needs could change a lot over the course of the
In its report, MPs also criticised HM Revenue & Customs for subsidising
the bid costs of IT companies vying for the contract to the tune of £52m in
order to secure competition.
The computer system, which supports services in areas such as child benefit
payments and income taxation is run by consultants
The French firm won the £2.9bn contract in 2004. It increased to £4.5bn in
2005 when the Inland Revenue was merged with Customs & Excise.
After the government admitted last year that the IT system would cost £8.5bn
over the 10-year life of the contract, the PAC launched its investigation.
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