HMRC retains £6m support for digital tax platform

Department signs 10-month deal with incumbent supplier for the ongoing provision of ‘continuous integration and continuous delivery’ services to support tech system that enables digital administration of national tax system

HM Revenue and Customs has signed a multimillion-pound deal for the provision of software development services for a core digital platform and underpins the department’s administration of the UK tax system.

The agency’s Multichannel Digital Tax Platform (MDTP) was first launched in 2014 and the platform, which is hosted in an Amazon Web Services cloud environment, underpins the delivery of all HMRC’s online personal and business tax services accessed through GOV.UK. Since its implementation, the platform has been reiterated multiple times to meet the changing needs of HMRC and citizens – who are now increasingly encouraged to pay tax digitally.

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Newly published commercial information reveals that, on 1 July, the department entered into a 10-month deal with tech consultancy Equal Experts, which will provide HMRC with “professional services” related to MDTP. The deal – which is valued at £6m – represents an effective extension of an existing engagement between HMRC and the supplier, which was awarded this latest contract without any competitive bidding process due “to competition being absent for technical reasons”, according to the procurement notice.

Over the coming months, Equal Experts will provide “problem solving and technical design services using various systems and coding languages to recommend and implement solutions relating to MDTP”, the notice said.

According to the text of the contract, the tech firm will be tasked with enabling a “continuous integration [and] continuous delivery” approach to help the department’s digital teams “translate business problems and user needs into technical designs”.

This will require contractors to be “proficient at writing code – Scala, Python, Ruby – to solve problems, automating wherever it adds value and incorporating security best practices at all times”, the contract added.

HMRC also expects the supplier to provide “hands-on experience of various AWS services like Cloudformation, S3, ECS, EC2, RDS, Lambda, SQS, SNS, Stacks and IAM”.

The deal is due to expire on 30 April 2024.

Sam Trendall

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