Success of Aspire unit at Capgemini supports ground-breaking benefits policy initiative
“Recognition of the quality of effort and delivery achieved by HMRC and Aspire working together pays testimony to effective collaboration. CTF is a project of which we can all be justly proud, delivering key government policy to time, cost and quality.”
Colin Tweddle, CTF Project Director, HM Revenue & Customs
The UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) ensures collection of correct taxes at the right time for payments received or entitlement to benefits. For the Child Trust Fund (CTF) announced by the Chancellor in 2003, children born from 1st September 2002 would receive Government payments for savings and investment accounts.
A key element of Government policy, CTF strengthens savings habits of future generations by ensuring children have financial assets as adults. The Child Trust Fund Act 2004 came into force in May 2004 with the target launch set for April 2005.
HMRC started working with Treasury, other Government and local authority colleagues followed by extensive consultation with financial institutions and other parties. Systems needed to be ready by January 2005.
Go-live meant migrating records from Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to HMRC and rigorous system testing. There was a vast amount of data, and multiple stakeholders (parents, children, financial institutions and many others). Vouchers to parents or guardians of babies born on or after 1st September 2002 needed to be issued.
Capgemini, as the incumbent IT service provider under the acclaimed 10-year Aspire contract starting July 2004, was ideally placed to support the CTF initiative.
The project is a ground-breaking initiative in the government’s benefits policy. On time delivery to budget met unqualified praise from government ministers, HMRC and the public. The success revealed staggering numbers:
- 1.75 million CTF vouchers to babies born on or after 1st September 2002
- Vouchers issued and records initiated for new-born babies at an annual rate of 800,000
- Initial transaction rate of 15 times normal volumes from Day One to cope with planned backlog
- 20 million records migrated to a new database.Â
The system continues to function smoothly, interfacing well with the general public, other HMRC systems and the finance sector. Future releases will form part of the transformational nature of Aspire.