Never again, says HMRC on Concentrix catastrophe

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has pledged to never again deal with a private company following the Concentrix disaster, it has been announced.

Concentrix was dropped as HMRC’s third party contact point after thousands of people on low incomes had their tax credits stopped for bizarre reasons.

Some claimants were falsely accused of being in a relationship with their parents or living with a previous tenant in their home.

According to official data, over one million letters were sent to claimants during Concentrix’s reign.

HMRC’s permanent secretary Jon Thompson told the Treasury Select Committee that his department had “to accept responsibility for what’s happened”.

He said the work would be taken “back in-house”, and that HMRC would not seek to use private contractors to do similar jobs in the future.

Mr Thompson said: “We will not be going back to the market for this kind of work. We will not be going back to the market to seek a third party to help us in any way with the tax credits system committee.”

He acknowledged that some departments would continue to use third-party staff, but front of house would remain firmly closed to outsiders.

“There already is a vast array of work where we work with third parties, but not in what you might call front of house to my knowledge – in terms of directly interacting with customers. I think this is the only area,” he said.