HMRC chief moots data and development changes
HM Revenue & Customs chief technology officer Steve Walters has detailed two data-driven areas of change his department expects in the coming years.
Walters told delegates at the Public Sector ICT Summit - organised by PublicTechnology’s parent company, Dods - that open standards for data were changing HMRC’s approach to software development, while greater data capacity would also change the way tax was sought.
In a panel session on the topic of “implementing change” Walters said open standards were driving HMRC towards the creation of application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers, rather than creating its own products for end users.
“We've focused to date largely on supplying web applications to consumers,” he said.
“Our big change over the next couple of years is going to be much more APIs, so that people can use those APIs to inspire their applications.”
Asked whether he saw HMRC’s online presence undergoing radical change over the next decade, Walters said he believed taxpayers were likely to find themselves presented with information to verify - rather than input from scratch - to a greater extent.
“Self-assessment was pretty leading edge when it was introduced 10 or 12 years ago - but it was a form to fill in online.,” he said.
“I think that the change we'll make will be the data side of things. When we get more real-time data from other organisations, why should you have to put your bank interest-rate in, why should you have to put your share income in?
“Couldn't we just get all of that together so we just show you something and say ‘this is what we think your tax level is’?
“The data is going to be the big driver. At the end of the day people are going to pay their tax, and the actual process probably isn't going to change at the back end, but I think the experience and the use of your data at the front end is going to be where the difference is.”
Government's new Innovation Strategy set out ambitious proposals to update processes, eliminate ageing kit, and embrace emerging technologies. PublicTechnology caught up with...
Patients in Scotland given option of virtual appointments via PC or mobile device
Overseas funding so far in 2019 has exceeded the whole of last year, according to Nicky Morgan
Boris Johnson concerned over UK’s loss of measles-free status
How can you stay ahead in the fast-paced world of digital technology? BT describes how it's a matter of focus...
The security threat landscape is confusing and changing rapidly – there’s so much out there, how do you understand where the true risks are? BT offers insight from their own experience
Organisations must alter their approach to cyber security recruitment in order to combat the global shortage of security professionals, writes BT
BT reviews an event looking at how man and machine are working together to drive digital transformation