The tax agency has issued an early notice to inform potential suppliers that it is “considering procurement options” regarding its need for a “digital notebook application”. Such an application is needed to allow the department’s field officers to record evidence and other information during investigations into civil or criminal fraud cases.
HMRC is seeking to deploy off-the-shelf commercial software that can be installed on the smartphones and Microsoft Surface Pro hybrid devices used by its Fraud Investigation Services (FIS) division. The software must also integrate with the department’s wider technology estate and infrastructure.
“The application will have the capability to: record notes, take photographs, record video [and] audio, receive witness signatures and perform speech-to-text in multiple languages,” the department added. “All case-related notebook entries will adhere to evidential standards, to ensure that contents are admissible as evidence in court. The application will have GPS and date/time-stamp functionality, which will be recorded against the file note when uploaded and saved. Once saved, the file will 'lock' editing functionality.”
FIS is “responsible for the department's investigations to protect funding for UK public services”, HMRC said.
The division “embraces future ways of working and technology to enable our staff to work efficiently and effectively”, according to the tax agency.
Prior to the launch of any formal procurement exercise, HMRC will host an online “market-engagement exercise”, in which suppliers will be invited to register to receive more information about the department’s needs and answer questionnaires.