Case study

Working together at HMRC

Back

Opencast played a significant role in helping Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to deliver the digital services it urgently needed to support people and businesses as the Covid pandemic took hold in 2020.

Challenge

We worked closely with both the HMRC permanent and multi-supplier teams on the creation of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and also the Eat Out To Help Out (EOTHO) programme.

Using HMRC's multi-channel digital tax platform (MDTP), SEISS offered millions of self-employed people critical financial support, while EOTHO offered rapid government support for the struggling hospitality industry. Both schemes required a turnaround from launch to live in a matter of weeks.

Response

Working with a product lead from HMRC and partner teams under considerable time pressure, we helped HMRC to establish the right number of people with the right mix of skills for the projects, helping it to optimise for flexibility and efficiency.

The tax platform allowed the team to provision the skeleton services fast, with monitoring and alerting stacks coming relatively ‘out of the box’.

Working remotely, the team used agile processes to implement continual improvements, including responding to user feedback. Opencast helped to pioneer code generation tools and patterns on the MDTP, helping HMRC put together pages fast, and the micro-service architecture we helped to create allowed even faster build and iteration.

Close up of a man looking at post-it notes

Impact

Over 95% of HMRC claimants later said they were satisfied with the SEISS platform, while EOTHO was the highest-traffic service HMRC had ever seen, withstanding 37 million searches from over 14.5 million users. 84,000 establishments signed up and over 160 million meals were claimed.

The teams on both projects were able to deploy their technical and analytical skills, but just as valuable on both projects was the collaborative attitude and approach of all involved. That meant motivating, leading by example and questioning in the right way – but remaining upbeat, supportive and professional throughout.

Over 95% of HMRC claimants later said they were satisfied with the SEISS platform, while EOTHO was the highest-traffic service HMRC had ever seen

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