The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), the new tax authority for Wales, has secured a prestigious joint UK IT industry award with its digital services partner, Kainos Group plc, for the delivery of Wales’ first cloud-based, bi-lingual digital tax system.
The first-of-its-kind digital project was recognised in the recent UK IT Industry Awards 2018 - led by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT and Computing - under the “Best Use of Cloud Services” category.
The 9 month digital project was led by the Welsh Government’s Digital and Future ICT teams, as part of a wider 2-year implementation programme to establish the new tax authority for Wales.
Following an extensive procurement exercise, a contract was awarded to digital services and platform provider, Kainos, to build a bespoke cloud-based, bi-lingual digital tax collection and management system which would enable the WRA to collect and manage the first devolved Welsh taxes.
A second digital partner, SAGlobal, with a base in south Wales, was brought on board to design and build the finance system which was a key component of the digital tax system.
The innovative project was delivered within 9 months and, on the 1 April 2018, the WRA successfully administered the first specifically Welsh taxes for the first time in 800 years.
Dyfed Alsop, Chief Executive, WRA, said:
“We are delighted that this project has been recognised as the Best Use of Cloud Services by the UK IT Industry Awards 2018.
“This award is testament to the vision of all who were involved in the development and build of the first-of-its-kind digital tax system. It would not have been possible without the strong partnerships formed during the formation of the WRA, which enabled us to successfully meet our legal obligations and administer the first Welsh taxes in over 800 years.
“Cloud-based solutions are playing an increasingly important role in delivering innovation and efficiencies. Together with the Welsh Government digital and ICT teams, Kainos and SAGlobal, we’ve been able to create a blueprint for a cloud-first approach and we hope to share our experience with other public bodies considering digital transformation in Wales.”
Russell Sloan, Digital Services Director, Kainos, said:
“Creating a new organisation, where everything needed to be built from scratch with only a small team, presented both an opportunity and an exciting challenge.
“We delivered the system on the Microsoft Azure Platform as a Service, as it allowed us to embed security from the ground up and offers the WRA the flexibility to grow more services. We look forward to working with the WRA to further develop and innovate on the platform.”
Wayne Davies, Country Manager, SAGlobal Europe, said:
“Implementing a back-office solution for a small but fast growing organistion provided an exciting opportunity for the SAGlobal team.
“We implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations to provide a cloud based, back office solution that offered a robust and scalable business system that will support the WRA with their growth plans.
“We are very much looking forward to broadening the footprint of Dynamics 365 within the WRA over time.”
Currently, over 5,000 legal professionals and landfill site operators throughout the UK are registered to use the new digital tax system, with 97% of all tax returns completed online.
It is estimated that the WRA will administer approximately £1 billion in taxes over a 4-year period, which will help support the growth of the Welsh economy and Welsh public services, including the NHS and schools.