UK government awards chunk of mega-billions tech framework

Deal for tax collector’s legacy application services goes to troupe of suppliers including Accenture, Capgemini and IBM

Exclusive UK government has named the winning suppliers on the first tranche of a tech deal which could be worth a total of £4.2 billion ($5.24 billion) for application software services supporting the nation's tax collector.

Accenture, Capgemini and IBM are among the winners of Phase 1 of the Digital and Legacy Application Services, or DALAS, procurement program being run by His Majesty's Revenues & Customs (HMRC).

In August last year, Crown Commercial Services, which sits within the Cabinet Office and acts as its professional buying arm, launched a consultation with tech market suppliers to create a framework agreement to contract work for HMRC as it strives to become "less dependent upon legacy technologies."

Later in the year, CCS published a contract notice which reduced the maximum value expected to be spent via the framework from £4.5 to £4.2 billion ($5.6 billion to $5.24 billion).

“The framework will provide a commercial vehicle to replace existing contractual arrangements that are due to expire between September 2023 and January 2025, and will provide the basis for letting a large proportion of HMRC future application services requirements,” the notice said at the time.

Sources close to the procurement have now offered The Register sight of documents disclosing the winners of Phase 1 of the procurement, which includes Lot 2a, Lot 2b, Lot 3 and Lot 5.

Accenture, Capgemini, CGI, Equal Experts, IBM, and Netcompany have won Lot 2a of the deal, which CCS calls “large-scale digital, integration and programme development services.” BAE Systems, BJSS, Coforge, Jumar, Kaino, Made Tech, NTT Data, Open Cast Software, Scrumconnect, Softwire, Tecknuova have won Lot 2b, which is the same as lot 2a, but not “large scale.” Both lots encompass user-centred design, integration of software lifecycle from application development through to release and IT Ops, for example.

Accenture, Capgemini, Atos, CGI, Cognizant and IBM have won places of Lot 3 of the framework, which the CCS describes as "Digital, Application and Integration Run Services."

Lots 5, for capability pipeline services, was won by Coforge, Ernst & Young, Mercator, QA, and TSI, according to documents seen by The Register. The role involves training for key HRMC technologies including Scala, Pega Systems, Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform, SAP and Service Now.

The Register has contacted CCS to give it the opportunity to provide more details.

HMRC's efforts to modernize its tech estate have been met with criticism. Earlier this year, UK public spending watchdog the National Audit Office said the tax collector introduced a flaw into its plans to digitize tax collection by ignoring proposals to sequence two of the most difficult elements of the gargantuan program: digital record keeping for business taxpayers and replacing legacy systems.

"HMRC therefore proposed to do both at the same time. HMRC did not fully assess the scale of work required at the outset of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme, or the additional complexity of introducing digital record keeping for business taxpayers at the same time as replacing its legacy systems," the report said. ®

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