Taking programme management to the next level

Deploying award winning programme management for one of the largest professional services companies in the world to successfully measure the admin burden of tax regulation placed on business.

The challenge

  • The treasury commissioned a project to measure the admin burden of tax regulation placed on businesses.
  • The Government wants to reduce the admin burden on business in a progressive and sustained manner for years into the future.
  • Securing the project, one of the Big Four auditors needed specialist support to execute the programme in time for the Government budget.
  • The project had to be completed within a fixed six month timeline and £12 million budget.

The solution

  • The first step was to analyse regulations across the Yellow Book of tax codes for the UK and measure ‘information obligations’ – where someone has to submit information to the HMRC such as their end of year tax return.
  • Across a two week period, 100 people were deployed to analyse the tax codes.
  • Next ‘information obligations’ had to be measured. However, data protection stopped the HMRC from passing information on about candidates.
  • With no direct access to candidates applicable to specific legislations, each potential participant had to be manually identified before an interview could be arranged or an electronic survey issued.
  • To find the companies and people willing to take part in an interview, a call centre was set up with 100 members of staff and suitable script sheets prepared.
  • Once candidates were located, interviews were scheduled and conducted across the country.

The results

  • As a result, the professional services company successfully built a model that maps UK tax legislations to the activities that businesses undertake to become compliant.
  • The programme found that a significant reduction in the total admin burden will require radical change in the tax system.
  • 86 per cent of the tax burden is created by 85 information obligations, this suggests that HMRC needs to examine not only the main planks of the tax system that cause the majority of the burden, but also minor obligations if it is to reduce the perception of complexity.
  • The project was the biggest tax project run by the professional services company and it deployed 300 members of staff.
  • The programme won the companies ‘Project of the Year’ award in 2006, with the client stating that the flexible and tailor-made programme management approach was a key factor in its success.