Inland Revenue hits back over outsourcing

Link: Revenue shortlists bidders for IT contract

Sir Nick Montagu said the Revenue will take further steps if necessary to make sure the competition is fair: ‘The competition is far from being open and shut. Recent evidence of public sector IT procurements shows incumbents are losing to non-incumbents rather than winning.’

He said the Revenue had undertaken a ‘market making exercise’ where is spoke to ten potential bidders to explain what it was looking for in a technology partner: ‘We listened and took steps to level the playing field. We will keep listening to the shortlisted bidders and where necessary take further steps to that bidders continue to have an equal chance to succeed in the competition,’ he said.

The Inland Revenues contract for the running of its IT operations is due for renewal in July 2004. But the Revenue only received four bids – three of which were shortlisted – as other large outsourcers deciding not to bid.

Critics have claimed there is little chance of the other shortlisted bidders – BT and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young – unseating current incumbents, EDS and Accenture, which are bidding together.

‘The effort made in ensuring that there is fair competition is unprecedented,’ said Craig Wilson, client executive, EDS.

Between now and the end of next month the bidders will be learning more about the Revenue’s massive systems, and wading through a 55,000 page report detailing its operations. And as planned, the Revenue and EDS have identified 85 key staff that it will need to retain to ensure that the any transition is smooth.

Bidders have to respond to the invitation to tender by January 2003, and the contract is awarded in December 2003, to commence in July 2004

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