HMRC discloses decision-makers for £112m Microsoft deal

Written by SA Mathieson on 16 September 2019 in News
News

CDIO Jacky Wright recused herself from department-wide Office 365 purchase  

Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

HM Revenue and Customs has released further information on its recent £111.75m licensing contract with Microsoft, including the names of the officials who signed off on the deal.

The department said that chief digital and information officer (CDIO) Jacky Wright, who is on a two-year secondment from Microsoft that ends next month, did not play a part in procurement discussions regarding the licences. Instead, decisions were taken by HMRC’s chief financial officer Justin Holliday, chief operating officer Rob Woodstock and the CDIO’s chief operating officer Martin Coombs.

“Jacky Wright recused herself from the decision-making for this procurement, in line with what was agreed when she joined HMRC in October 2017,” the department said in a Freedom of Information disclosure made in response to a request from PublicTechnology

It added that there was no correspondence to or from Wright concerning the spending.


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As indicated by data released in July, the licensing involves Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise 5 licences. In the FOI disclosure the department said these cover all HMRC staff and part of its contractor workforce who need to work alongside employees. The subscription-based licence will run for four years from 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2023, with an annual renewal each year on 1 June.

The most recent workforce data for government departments shows that, as of June 2019, HMRC had 67,500 permanent employees. Based on this HMRC would be paying Microsoft £1,656 per person or £414 annually for the licences, but the actual figure will be lower given the inclusion of some contractors. 

The July data was released as part of regular disclosures on large ICT spending commitments by departments. This listed spending of £106m on ‘Microsoft Licence E5’ on 25 March along with £4.9m on ‘O365’ (Office 365) on 22 January and a further £850,000 on the same on 22 March.

Jacky Wright grew up in London but has spent much of her career in the US, most recently six years working at Microsoft’s headquarters near Seattle. Since October 2017 she has led HMRC’s technology work as it has rebuilt its supplier network, following the end of its Aspire outsourcing contract with Capgemini, Fujitsu, and Accenture. 

 

 

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