Public Services > Central Government

HMRC seeks transformation expertise to support Aspire exit

David Bicknell Published 03 June 2015

Two-year, £20m contract for partner with "experience of managing large post-merger work force integrations and the significant people and cultural issues that arise"


The need to exit from its Aspire contract successfully in 2017 has driven HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to go to market for a lead transformation partner.

A tender for the £5m-£20m value contract was published this week, with HMRC admitting it "needs an injection of strategic-level experience and capacity to support people and culture transformation."

In particular, the tender , which is also issued in the name of HMRC's chief digital and information officer (CDIO) Mark Dearnley, says it requires a Programme Management Office to undertake the management aspects of the programme. HMRC says it envisages that the "lead transformation partner will provide leadership of the PMO and work alongside HMRC employees."

The two-year contract, arguably one of the most high profile and critical to be offered by HMRC, will go to a partner "who must have experience of managing large post-merger work force integrations, and the significant people and cultural issues that arise."

It follows efforts by HMRC to bring in external expertise to help deliver an Aspire exit, and it is understood, concern at the highest level of Whitehall about HMRC's ability to achieve that exit without external expertise. That concern has been increased by a series of high profile Public Accounts Committee hearings and National Audit Office reports into Aspire as the end of the contract in June 2017 edges closer.

In its tender, HMRC says it will require the chosen supplier to provide strategic input to the planning of this activity as well as support for senior line managers in delivering it.

It says, "HMRC/CDIO needs an injection of strategic level experience and capacity to help manage the exit from a large scale outsourced arrangement that has been in place for 20+ years. HMRC is dependent on its IT services to collect £505bn in tax and to administer £43bn in benefits each year.

"The successful supplier must have proven experience of working in a multi-supplier environment, working with internal and external legal teams and suppliers and must have a proven track record of understanding large IT business operations. HMRC/CDIO needs an injection of strategic level experience and capacity to help HMRC Process Re-engineer and 'Lean' its IT operation.

HMRC says the chosen provider "must have significant experience of working in large, dynamic, multi-faceted programmes working in organisations that are of national/international scale and importance including major transformation."

In a statement to Government Computing on its procurement, an HMRC spokesman said, "We are making significant progress in the phased transition from the Aspire IT contract. The tender exercise for a transformation partner is one of the steps in working towards the 2017 deadline. We have developed considerable internal talent within HMRC, but we will also use specialist external help from the market and across government to make this transition a success."

A supplier event is to be held in London in the week commencing 8th June 2015, with bidders warned to expect that after evaluation, they may be required to attend an interview in London week commencing 20th July 2015.

The contract will begin barely a month later, on 1st September and is due to end on 31st August 2017.




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