HMRC looks for a technology partner to help predict insolvency risks

HMRC has announced that it is seeking a partner to collaborate on a system that would use predictive analytics to identify and manage insolvency risks in private companies.

The tax office has released a prior information notice (PIN), which is a notice that must be issued by public bodies for contracts over a certain threshold before the official procurement procedure begins. The project and proposed contract could be worth up to £5 million.

The PIN specifies that HMRC is looking for an external partner that must have highly relevant experience of modelling insolvency risk. Examples given include experience of working on similar projects for other tax administrations, major retail banks, telecommunications or utility companies.

The contract would be expected to come into effect from 3 January 2017 and would run for a year with an estimated value of between £2 million and £5 million.

The solution that is finally developed would be expected to incorporate a number of different related functions, including application software programming services, financial information systems, data analysis and consultancy functions.

It’s expected that any collaborative partner would co-locate within HMRC’s own premises in order to better share knowledge and develop the analytics solution around HMRC’s existing IT infrastructure, data and analytic capabilities.

HMRC is currently undergoing an extensive remodelling however, with the Making Tax Digital project aiming to take all tax reporting online and to introduce quarterly reporting. Its own IT infrastructure is undergoing a major overhaul and the PIN says that any prospective partner would have to take this into account.

One specific stipulation is that HMRC would own the intellectual property rights for the eventual analytics solution. This means that any solution would have to be flexible enough for HMRC to be able to adapt or rebuild it in order to make sure it was still functional after the department’s own IT overhaul.

By Phil Smith

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