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August 1, 2014

HMRC’s Digital Delivery Centre opens in Newcastle

Tax body will make tax services digital.

By Joe Curtis

The taxman has opened its new digital headquarters in Newcastle, with 130 staff set to help the public manage their tax affairs online.

Financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke cut the red tape to open the Digital Delivery Centre, and Mike Bracken, digital director at the Cabinet Office, said the workers were "raring to go".

"I can’t wait to see what they build," he added. "This team’s work will directly affect every taxpayer in the land, and contribute to the digital ripple effect spreading through the civil service."

The centre is tasked with digitising Britain’s tax services, with a particular focus on PAYE for employees, self-assessment, business tax accounts and the registration process to become a tax agent.

Head of the centre Jason Kay said: "We’re creating a new agile collaborative working environment. We’ve got an ethos and a vision about making this a great place to work. We want to create something new, exciting and modern. It’s a major shift in how people work, and how HMRC delivers digital government services.

"There’s a phenomenal buzz here, and people are interested in what we’re doing. Not just from elsewhere in HMRC, but from other government departments too."

The news comes as the Government Digital Service (GDS) shifted 320 public body websites to by the end of July, planning to migrate all government sites by December.

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It also hopes to use its budget to transform 25 government services over the next eight months, helping departments exit unsuitable IT contracts to get better value for money as well as improving the G-Cloud.

However, it has warned that its £58m budget is too small to hire digitally skilled staff.

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