HMRC signs £500k FT deal for news and analysis

Written by Sam Trendall on 10 June 2022 in News

Department says information provided by newspaper publisher will be used across more than 30 areas of operation

Credit: DonSpencer1/CC BY-SA 4.0

HM Revenue and Customs has signed a half-a-million-pound deal with the Financial Times for the provision of news and analysis services to help officials understand market trends and design policy.

The tax agency entered into a three-year contract with the newspaper published on 1 May. The engagement will be worth £560,354 to the FT.

Procurement archives indicate that, since 2015, the department has previously signed a number of one-year contracts for “access to FT content”; these have ranged in value from about £100,000 to close to £160,000.

Recently published commercial notices reveal that the new three-year deal for “data services” covers the provision of a wide-ranging “business and finance news service”

“FT provides HMRC colleagues with business, economic, markets, analysis, policy and risking news, with both a national and international focus; it is used across over 30 HMRC business areas for a variety of purposes,” the contact-award notice said.

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“[This includes]: risk profiling of individual companies; business sector analysis [and] intervention; market trend analysis; potential tax-gap analysis; help informing the production of budget papers for central government; identifying potential wealth [and] ownership of properties; case working; informing policy changes; keeping up to date on Brexit news; assessing risks; tax and business policy analysis; background on corporate and public policy making; OECD or EU guidelines and policy changes; helping analysts interpret trends – [such as] emergence of new sectors, useful feedback from business leaders themselves; keeping people aware of issues to ensure they can react quickly to briefing requests from ministers and take mitigating action; [and] provide insight into avoidance schemes.”

The department added that research from the FT “has been useful reference for our analysts”, and that the newspaper’s experts “provide useful comment on HMRC”.

Commercial documents reveal that the FT will provide HMRC with licences for a certain number of officials, a subset of which will be designated by the department as “core readers”, who will receive access to a greater number of articles and other content. 

Licences are likely to cover a mix of “employees, partners, on-site contractors, interns and students”.


About the author
Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on

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