Computerworld

Digital transformation on track, says Inland Revenue

Transfers 20 million tax records to new system

In what it says was one of the largest data migrations undertaken by a New Zealand government agency, Inland Revenue has migrated some 20 million income tax records, representing around $5 billion in financial transactions, to the new tax system during a seven-day shutdown of services.

It says customers have logged into the new myIR website more than two million times since the system went live two weeks ago.

According to Inland Revenue almost 300 people worked across 185 hours to complete the more than 1,100 tasks needed to get the new system up and running.

Inland Revenue’s deputy commissioner, transformation Greg James said the move — dubbed Release 3 — was far larger than the two previous releases in the multiyear project but had been completed successfully.

 “The scale of this year’s release puts our two previous releases in the shade,” James said. “Migrating income tax records was always going to be our biggest test but now that’s been done we can begin the process of issuing automatic tax assessments later this month.”

Troubles with Office 365

However, there were some last minute hurdles. In its most recent transformation update to ministers, dated 3 April, Inland Revenue said stability issues were causing concern.

“We have experienced recent internal systems performance issues as a result of the implementation of the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 solution. We have also experienced outages over the last week with our customer-facing myIR service.”

The note added: “This is not ideal this close to go-live and has heightened the risk profile. We are currently working on what additional mitigations we can put in place in the lead up to and after go-live.”

The next iteration of the transformation, Release 4, will be for KiwiSaver and student loans and the note said Inland Revenue  had recruited a number of new subject matter experts for Release 4 following approval of the detailed scope for Release 4 by the Portfolio Governance Committee on 21 February 2019. Release 4 is scheduled for implementation in April 2020.

In June 2015 Inland Revenue named US company Fast Enterprises as its preferred supplier to design and supply the software platform to run New Zealand's new tax and social policy administration system.

In February 2016 Spark Digital subsidiary Revera was named preferred supplier to design and supply data centre services  for the new tax system support the country’s new tax and social policy system.

James said the contract— valued at $45m - $60m over 10 years represented one of the most significant elements of the digital transformation program.