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Still no clarity on the IRD’s 20-year-old systems

Revenue spokesperson

14 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Still no clarity on the IRD’s 20-year-old systems

Bill English can’t explain the changes or costs required to replace Inland Revenue’s 20-year-old FIRST mainframe computer system, and is unable to acknowledge if the IRD has spent millions on consultants for the project, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark.

“The IRD is a department in desperate need of a new computer system. Peter Dunne has provided few specifics on how he intends to upgrade the archaic systems despite being in the job for seven years.

“Today Bill English showed he’s on the same vague page as his colleague and was unable to confirm whether $30 million had been spent on consultants engaged in a scoping exercise. I understand tens of millions have been spent on scoping the project but no plans or costings have emerged.

“Mr English is on record as saying $700 million of asset sales proceeds would be spent on a system rebuild. John Key estimated in February that the project would cost $1 billion.

“We need to know the figures and get a credible plan. IRD is struggling.

“Voluntary compliance and customer satisfaction is dropping with 70,000 phone calls unanswered in the July GST filing period. Over one million returns remain unprocessed, and $7 billion in tax remains outstanding. IRD is a department under pressure, and a 20 year old computer system is contributing to that in no small measure.

“The Minister of Finance needs to step in. News that 6300 New Zealanders had their privacy breached in the 12 months to September 2012 is further undermining trust and voluntary compliance. If the tax base dwindles further, we’ll see more health and education cuts.

“Kiwi taxpayers need to have their faith restored. The Government needs to outline a credible plan and timetable for building a replacement system.

© Scoop Media

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