In a memo responding to a warning from Commons watchdog the Public Accounts Committee on the danger of over dependence on a single IT services supplier, the Treasury claims steps have been taken to ensure continuity can be maintained through a switch to another company.
The Treasury response also dismissed MPs’ fears over the Revenue’s reliance on a small number of appropriately skilled senior staff to manage the contract with EDS.
It said the team has been strengthened and training arrangements ensured it could fill vacancies.
But the Treasury did admit difficulties remained in establishing benchmarks to ensure additional work allocated to EDS under the partnership represents value for money.
The PAC also highlighted risks that competition may be limited when the time comes to renegotiate the contract.
The report urged that ‘the department will need to ensure proposals for new systems and changes to the existing information technology infrastructure do not unduly limit its future choice of strategic partner.’
The Treasury said the Revenue had been vigilant in the management of the contract to ensure that it could move to a successor contract and that potential alternative suppliers were not disadvantaged.
In April this year, the National Audit Office warned that EDS wielded ‘undue’ influence over the Inland Revenue and that the independence of the Revenue is under threat.Links
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