PracticeConsultingNo job for the fainthearted

No job for the fainthearted

Hands up who wants to be the first CIO of the combined Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise department?

No one? Come on – think of the prestige, the knighthood, the money!

It’s a mammoth task ahead, though, especially when you think of the difficulties that lie in wait. The recruitment consultants dealing with the appointment have produced a job spec for potential candidates that makes very grim reading, and the £200,000 basic salary could fade into insignificance if the job goes pear shaped.

Before the new CIO begins to count their own hard-earned pennies, the lucky person will have to ‘reshape and integrate’ the IT functions of both departments – a grand total of 1,500 techies from the Revenue and 850 from Customs.

The Revenue’s customer base encompasses 30 million taxpayers, 1.5 million employers and a million companies. And if that wasn’t enough to send you running out of the job interview screaming, Customs processes over 27 million items of data on imports and exports worth £360bn.

The Revenue alone uses more than 140 business applications to deliver its objectives, including the problematic National Insurance Recording System (NIRS2) and the new tax-credits system.

Prospective candidates will be faced with this huge raft of existing IT contracts. Luckily the ink has barely dried on the biggest deal of all – Capgemini’s 10-year contract to run all of the Revenue’s IT and IS services.

But applicants will not be working from a clean slate.

The well-documented problems that occurred during EDS’ time in control of the Revenue’s systems are sure to cause problems for the new CIO and the IT supplier for months, perhaps years to come.

And don’t forget that at least one of your referees must be a ‘senior IT professional’. Finally, candidates must have a high level of IT leadership expertise in a large organisation, and ‘an outstanding record of very large scale IT enabled change delivery’.

A great task lies ahead for whoever is brave or foolish enough to rise to the challenge.

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