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HM Revenue and Customs is continuing a £ 180 million project to create a single digital platform through which traders will be able to manage all their interactions with the government and access all relevant information on imports and exports.

The Single Trading Window (STW), which is part of the UK government’s border strategy for 2025, is designed to provide traders with a single digital platform through which they can send information only once, with data then exchanged, as needed, between all relevant teams and agencies.

The cost review gave HMRC £ 180 million to implement the project over the next three years, of which £ 30 million is allocated for 2022/23.

A recently published procurement notice indicates that to support this work, the tax office is looking for a specialist supplier to assist the project in three key areas: “service design; data analysis, modeling and strategy; [and] technical architecture ”.

The first component of the STW platform – an online service that provides recommendations for importers – appeared nine months ago. According to the contract notice, an equivalent service for exporters is scheduled to launch in 2022.

Next year will include the provision of “the first phase of data submission, which combines safety and security declarations and imports … in further work on iterating service design, developing and agreeing on an intergovernmental target architecture and developing a five-year roadmap.”


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HMRC hopes to sign a contract with its chosen “strategic [and] technical partner ”around the end of June. The firm will be assigned to an initial six-month deal with two additional extensions that exceed this period by three months.

The supplier is expected to respond quickly to the demands of the individual “work packages” outlined by HMRC in the coming months. This is likely to involve staffing in the six key roles mentioned in the tender: service designers; technical solutions of architects; business analytics; and data engineers, architects and analysts.

The exact budget for the potential annual interaction was not specified, but when asked by vendors submitted through the government’s online Digital Marketplace, HMRC noted that “a significant portion of program costs over the next six months will come through this proposed contract.”

«[The] The Single Trade Window program will provide traders and their representatives with a single place where they can provide all the mandatory information required by the government, and a single place where they can receive trade-related messages. The program aims to improve the experience of foreign traders through simplification, reliability and consistency by introducing a “tell it right” approach and incorporating supply chain data directly into the government, ”the contract said in a statement.

“Over the last 18 months, [the] The Single Trade Window lays the groundwork … for the transition to implementation: developing a high-level vision, component architecture, service design, program structure and business case for funding.

Contract applications are accepted until midnight on May 25, after which the department expects to evaluate up to 10 potential suppliers.

Once the deal is concluded, representatives of the winning bidder will join a team that includes “STW program staff and existing vendors that support referral service and other services in a private beta”.

According to the department, existing vendors include “CapGemini, Deloitte, Engine, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, as well as vendors that support HMRC digital delivery”.

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