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HMRC seeks CIO to help overhaul IT dept

The taxman is seeking a chief information officer to head up a staff of 1,400 and a budget of £1bn in one of Europe's largest IT departments
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

The taxman is looking for a chief information officer to complete the transformation of its IT department.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is now advertising the £180,000 per year position, heading a staff of 1,400 and a budget of £1bn in one of the largest IT departments in Europe.

The candidate will realise the overhaul of the department's IT systems and security as set out by the Poynter Review following the department's loss of 25 million people's records in October 2007.

A key part of the revamp will be rationalising the 650 computer systems controlling areas such as Paye, National Insurance, child benefit and tax credits, which the Poynter report found increased the security risk by duplicating information.

According to the HMRC's latest performance report, the department has stopped unencrypted data transfers to portable media and hopes to implement the Poynter recommendations in their entirety by 25 June, 2011.

The CIO will also oversee the £2.8bn Aspire (Acquiring Strategic Partners for the Inland Revenue) IT services contract with Capgemini, one of the UK's largest outsourcing deals.

The new CIO will also be expected to "transform customer service and improve compliance with the tax system, as well as enhance the efficiency of tax administration", according to the civil service's recruitment website.

The department has experienced several years of problems with the tax-credits computer system that led to billions of pounds in under- and over-payments.

The site says the ideal candidate should have "management experience" within a FTSE 100 or a large public-sector organisation.

Former T-Mobile executive Deepak Singh has been acting CIO since the previous incumbent Steve Lamey was promoted to COO at the HMRC in October 2007.

A spokeswoman for the HMRC said: "It was always the intention to fill the CIO vacancy substantively, and following the appointment of the chief executive in November 2008, the role is being formally advertised.

"HMRC's IT infrastructure is one of the largest in the UK and mission critical to delivery of the department's objectives."

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