The annual pay packet of HM Revenue & Customs' IT chief rocketed by over 20 percent to almost £260,000 after just six months in the role.
HMRC's chief information officer Steve Lamey joined the department on a four-year contract on 18 October, 2004 in the civil service pay band £200,000 to £205,000 a year, and in his first six months to the end of that financial year he took home almost £105,000 including "benefits in kind".
But HMRC's annual accounts for the financial year April 2005 to March 2006 now reveal that Lamey's annual salary has jumped to the pay band £245,000 to £250,000, with benefits in kind of £9,600 taking that total to around £260,000.
Lamey, previously a director at BOC and CIO at British Gas, took over the HMRC job from the Inland Revenue's previous IT director John Yard just after the department's £3bn IT Aspire outsourcing contract was switched from EDS to Capgemini, and oversaw the merger of the Revenue and Customs & Excise IT systems and contracts.
Whitehall spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) recently praised the handover of the Aspire contract but also warned that the total cost of the 10-year deal could double to £6bn.
And while there have been improvements in some of HMRC's online tax return filing systems over the last couple of years, the department has recently been dogged by massive fraud on the tax credit system.