A big night for HMRC’s Customer Insight Platform team at the UKIT awards!

Congratulations to HMRC’s Customer Insight Platform (CIP) team for winning the Best Public Sector IT Project category at last night’s UKIT Awards! 

And a shout out to Fiona Teddy-Jimoh for being highly commended in the Business Analyst category, and to Andrew Letherby for being a finalist in the Digital Leader of the Year category.

“What the CIP team achieved at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic was nothing short of remarkable. They responded to possible fraud threats to the COVID-19 schemes and rose to meet the needs of 2020 in a way that no UK government had ever responded before, by supporting workers on an unprecedented scale.” Caitlin Smith, Delivery Lead, Equal Experts

As Covid-19 emerged in early March 2020, before the country was aware of the full extent of the crisis about to happen, the Customer Insight Platform (CIP) team at HMRC proactively pulled together proposals in anticipation of being asked to prevent the widespread fraud of Covid-response schemes. As the news of the Treasury’s plans broke fast, the team rapidly responded by supporting the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) response, the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme  (SEISS).

It was obvious that the fraud protection case work resulting from Covid-related schemes was likely to inundate any manual components of the existing processes. The multitude of challenges were exacerbated by the timing – the team was already at capacity supporting the acute spike of work associated with the Self-Assessment (SA) process at the end of the tax year. At the same time, the Chancellor requested better access to data from the banking industry. 

The Customer Insight Platform (CIP) team had a short window of time to get a comprehensive fraud protection solution in place. Millions of claims submitted by taxpayers were automatically assessed for fraud detection by the CIP Insight service, supporting the work that HMRC internal fraud investigators were doing in very difficult circumstances. The pandemic accelerated the development of HMRC’s first upfront digital risking service. This was tantamount to a revolution in the speed and accuracy of the fraud protection process. 

Key results:

  • The team made 12 months of progress in one month, with no increase in available resources.
  • The risk automation for the first Covid response service took 8 weeks to build but later services only took 2 weeks.

But in this new world awaited new opportunities for attempted fraud. In handling risk of fraud across three brand new government schemes, with accelerated timelines, the team achieved the impossible. They:

  • Provided timely and valuable insights to frontline services, helping ensure the right money went to the right people at the right time.
  • Used their wealth of experience to find patterns in the data, whilst reflecting on lessons learned from previous efforts.
  • Were empowered by leadership to respond rapidly to the changing landscape
  • Exercised their professional discipline and creative freedom to meet their users’ needs.

And the accolades don’t stop there. HMRC’s CIP team has also received recognition and wins in other awards programmes this year as follows:

  • AI and Machine Learning AwardsWINNER!  Special Award:  Pandemic Performance.
  • UK Dev AwardsWINNER!  Alex Browne, All-Round Hero category. FINALIST:  Project of the Year, Platform Tool of the Year, Rising Star (Fiona Teddy-Jimoh).
  • Computing Digital Technology Leaders AwardsFINALIST:  Best Public Sector Digital Project.
  • COVID Response Awards – Shortlisted, awards on 25th November: Best COVID Response involving the Public Sector category.

So as you can see, the achievements of this team are truly remarkable and very deserving of all the accolades.  Our heartfelt congratulations again to HMRC’s CIP team, as well as to all the other winners and finalists last night.