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The Inland Revenue transformation website is our way of sharing what we did, and what we learnt, while delivering one of the biggest transformation programmes of its kind. This was a once-in-a-generation change to tax and social policy, something which impacts the whole of New Zealand, from government, through businesses to the country’s people and families.

To capture the size of the task we start by sharing a timeline of activity beginning in 2013 at the inception phase and ending in June 2022 when we closed out the transformation programme.

Our delivery timeline

Programme and policy

  • Late 2012, early 2013 Cabinet approved in principle the Business Transformation funding subject to an approved business case.
  • Deputy Commissioner Change role established and appointed. This role had responsibility for our change resources, the transformation programme and was also the Senior Responsible Officer.
  • Recruitment of an experienced transformation specialist team began.
  • The Business Transformation Method was established - the foundation for the programme deliverables and structure, including the programme planning process.
  • First programme structure established – focused round business case development and planning.
  • Established a commercial team – all commercial activity for Business Transformation was managed by the programme.

Programme and policy

We established the foundations of the programme including the:

  • 10 keys reporting framework
  • Programme Management Office
  • Initial governance approach including establishing the governance teams and terms of reference.

Other key actions were:

  • Tax policy conference held to gather ideas for ‘Tax Administration for the 21st century' and set the outline for the subsequent green paper.
  • Initial programme leadership team was finalised.
  • Accenture was selected as a programme delivery partner.
  • Initial view of scope and programme phasing established.
  • Change management framework developed – the foundation for all practices and processes.
  • Communications team established to deliver all business transformation communications.
  • High-level design work identifying what the transformation would deliver resulted in the creation of 6 blueprints.
  • Shortlist of three viable core tax solutions identified with site visits to establish capability. This included overseas travel with the then Minister of Revenue.
  • Management consultants, KPMG confirmed as external Independent and Technical Quality Assessment (IQA/TQA) provider.

Organisation Design

  • Change Management function established to deliver organisation design.

Technology

  • Foundation programmes initiated to provide technical infrastructure to keep the business running until the new platform was fully implemented.

Programme and policy

  • Cabinet approves the business case and funding for the transformation.
  • Policy Green Paper issued (March 2015) outlining the main policy changes that are to be delivered as part of our transformation.
  • Transformation delivery methodology agreed.
  • Governance structures finalised for initial delivery.
  • Design blueprints finalised and shared within the organisation.
  • FAST appointed as core tax software partner.
  • Master services agreements and statements of work set up with critical partners Accenture and FAST with comprehensive deliverables and timelines.
  • A vendor management approach and process was put in place for all key vendors.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • First GST Application Programming Interface delivered working with MYOB and Xero, connecting with our heritage environment.

Programme and policy

  • Transitioned the programme team structure to a delivery-oriented release structure for core tax and social policy work, introducing delivery teams, for example, testing, deployment and so on.
  • DC Change title and responsibilities changes to DC Transformation to reflect that Transformation needs a 100% focus. Senior Responsible Officer responsibility moves to Chief Executive Officer.
  • Kaikoura Earthquake hits 14 November, 4 months before stage 1 go-live – main Wellington building closed. Limit of 500 people able to ‘connect’ remotely across the whole of Inland Revenue made remote working extremely challenging.
  • The Taxation Bill 'Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures' was enacted – key activity to pave the way for our digital transformation.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • High-level release approach agreed - based around product sequencing for example, GST, then income tax, then Working for Families Tax Credits and so on. GST chosen for the first Release (Stage 1), due to its relative simplicity.
  • Detailed delivery work for Stage 1 commences.
  • Agreed that this initial stage would involve a full move of (almost) all customers from FIRST to the new system, but FIRST would remain the customer master until a later release.
  • Accenture contracted to provide co-existence solution using a blend of Accenture and Inland Revenue legacy programme resources.
  • Offshore development centre in Manila established by Accenture to assist with the delivery of co-existence.

Intelligence led

  • First tranche of Intelligence-led programme kicked off with procurement process for the Enterprise Content Management system.
  • Team Asparona joint venture with Deloitte selected and Information Knowledge Management (IKM) project initiation began.

Technology

  • SPARK Revera selected as the provider for our new data centre provider. Data centre network design delivered in advance of Stage 1 of our core tax solution.
  • Upgraded identity and middleware solutions delivered, both pre-requisites for core tax Stage 1.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • Transformation Stage 1 delivered 7 February 2017: GST and digital registration for new immigrants.
  • Lessons learnt at Stage 1 identified the need for greater understanding of our customer/stakeholders’ business models. This led to the established of an account management function and with tax agents being seconded to the programme.
  • Multi-year appropriation of funding requested and approved.
  • Moved from a stage to a release strategy to de-risk and break down the delivery of tax into 2 releases.

Intelligence led

  • Programme manager appointed to focus solely on Intelligence-led which included information knowledge management, advanced analytics and business intelligence and reporting.
  • Advanced analytics proof of concept completed.
  • Enterprise content management system (Stax) technical implementation with Infrastructure and initial business group roll out completed.
  • Intel-led key workshops with the Intelligence business groups to identify use cases which would inform scope.

Technology

  • Cloud first policy established for future services.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • Release 2 go-live: withholding taxes, fringe benefit tax, and gaming machine duty moved to new systems - START and processes; the accounting income method (AIM) for provisional tax and the automatic exchange of information with international tax treaty partners (AEOI) were implemented; payday filing was introduced on a voluntary basis.
  • Lessons learned continue to drive improved processes across all areas of the programme, leading to first joint business and programme forum and yet greater focus on external stakeholders.

Intelligence led

  • SAS selected as Inland Revenue’s advanced analytics partner and the advanced analytics (data and intelligence) foundational platform implemented. This was the first major cloud platform installed as part of the transformation programme.
  • Data and Intelligence Platform initial integration with START established.
  • Syl (Enterprise Search) proof of concept completed and informed the strategic direction of the Intelligent Information project

Organisation Design

  • Over 3,900 staff move into new roles as the first 3 groups in Inland Revenue’s new organisation design were established: Customer & Compliance Services – Individuals, Customer & Compliance Services – Business, and Information & Intelligence Services.

Digital

  • A pilot version of Inland Revenue’s re-designed website was released for customer feedback, initially focused on child support content.

Technology

  • Technology upgrade to Office 365 and Windows 10 with the rollout of new mobile devices across the organisation to support staff to work more flexibly, completed December 2018
  • Exited from DXC Technology data centre - our legacy desktop technology provider.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • Release 3 go-live: tax on income and Working for Families (the first social policy product) moved to new systems (START) and processes; a new year-end process for individuals was introduced; payday filing became mandatory; new requirements for investment income reporting were introduced on a voluntary basis.
  • START takes over from FIRST as the customer master
  • Refined our release-scoping process to ensure that what was agreed to be delivered was based on the highest value (benefit and complexity/cost trade-offs).
  • Expanded the Early Life Support process to encompass people, operations, technology, customers and stakeholders, with an additional focus on reputational risk. Team made up of a mix of business transformation and organisation resources and overseen by the Deputy Commissioner Corporate Integrity and Assurance (outside the transformation programme).

Intelligence led

  • The new Data and Intelligence Platform was implemented, enabling the vast and varied data Inland Revenue collects to be quickly collated and made of sense of.
  • Data and Intelligence Platform handed over to the organisation.
  • Enterprise content management solution (Stax) deployment / business roll out completed.
  • Initiated the Stax migration to a cloud solution.
  • Concept of the Intelligent Information and Enterprise Search developed.
  • Intelligent Information funding approved and project team mobilised.
  • Finalised and initiated data migration plans from heritage platform Enterprise Data Warehouse to Business Transformation systems.

Organisation Design

  • Organisational changes within Information Technology and Communications took effect in March and December, with new structural roles and operating model.
  • The Policy and Regulatory Stewardship group was established as part of the new organisation design.

Digital

  • Inland Revenue’s redesigned website went live with new income tax, Working for Families, and child support content. Content for other products was updated and moved over to the new website in line with releases.

Enterprise support services

  • The first phase of the new enterprise support services platform (Ātea) went live, moving budgeting and forecasting functions to new systems and processes.
  • Second release of Ātea - finance, procurement and some human resources functions move onto the new platform.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • COVID-19 lockdown on 29 March strikes 2 weeks before Release 4 cutover on 9 April and go-live 16 April. Intense conversations, primarily with KiwiSaver fund providers result in a ‘go’ call to proceed with cutover.
  • Release 4 go-live: KiwiSaver, student loans and PAYE processing moved to new systems (START) and processes; investment income reporting changes became mandatory.
  • Digitising manual payments, ringfencing rental losses and changes to Research and Development Tax Initiative, also delivered by the programme.
  • Go-live was achieved with the team operating almost entirely remotely, from 208 people planned to be on site, to a maximum of 8 at any one time. 
  • As a result of the focus required to deliver the COVID-19 response, decision made to split the final stage of the transformation, Stage 4 into 2 releases, though the first would be delivered ahead of plan.

Intelligence led

  • Developed Guided Help functionality (a user-friendly decision tree) to replace the Inland Revenue Knowledge Base. Released initially to front-line staff and actively used in response to the COVID-19 small business cashflow loan scheme.
  • Stax (our Enterprise Content Management system) moved to an ‘as a service’ construct and moved to cloud platform.
  • Foundations of the new intranet (Haukāinga) and Enterprise search functionality developed and tested.
  • Migrated all heritage Intranet sites into Haukāinga.

Organisation Design

  • The Tax Counsel Office was established as part of the new organisation design.

Digital

  • First release of the new and improved tax technical website went live.

Enterprise support services

  • Third release of Ātea - sustainability and affordability functions go-live.

Technology

  • Full upgrade of SPARK infrastructure and upgraded external identity management solution.
  • Wi-Fi first policy progressed.

Covid-19 response

  • Several financial support solutions delivered in support of the Government’s Covid-19 response. These were delivered extremely rapidly using the flexibility of our new technology, primarily START.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • Stage 4, Release 1 go-live in March 2021: Paid parental leave, unclaimed money, duties and NZ foreign trusts moved to new systems (START) and processes.
  • Fully remote cutover executed.
  • Stage 4, Release 2 go-live in October 2021: Child support moves to new systems (START) and processes; first upgrade of START including myIR, the online services our customers use, and the software Inland Revenue’s people use.
  • Used new testing techniques to manage highly complex child support assessments, the final product to move into START.

Intelligence led

  • Haukāinga released to all Inland Revenue users.
  • Stax (our Enterprise Content Management system) connected to Enterprise Search.
  • Availability of Haukāinga (intranet replacement platform) on mobile devices.
  • Guided Help expanded for use on www.ird.govt.nz (external customers).
  • Migrated START Help content into Haukāinga, allowing access to all Inland Revenue users.

Organisation Design

  • The final groups supporting Corporate & Enabling Services were established as part of our new organisation design, including Enterprise Services, Enterprise Design & Integrity, CCS Planning Design & Delivery and Marketing & Communications.

Digital

  • Transitioned all software providers to new Application Programming Interface's by April 2021.
  • Heritage gateway E-File decommissioned following the final Stage 4 release.
  • Moved KiwiSaver providers off a heritage function they used to automatically send data to us, to new gateway services, December 2021 ahead of schedule.

Technology

  • FIRST, Inland Revenue’s heritage core processing system, archive solution implemented.
  • FIRST is switched off in November 2021.
  • Existing SAP Payroll moved to cloud.
  • Decommissioning and replacement activity underway including lift and shift of contact centre to SPARK data centre.

Stage releases - core tax and social policy

  • Exited the final stage of Early Life Support for core tax and social policy transformation on the planned date of 31 January 2022.

Technology

  • Completion of Decommissioning and Archiving programme involving over 400 applications.
  • Finalising programme of technology optimisation to finalised.
  • Deployed a new identity management system.

Programme and policy

  • Transition of Inland Revenue knowledge, tools and templates to the organisation complete, including the launch of an enduring intranet site.
  • Development of external website to share what we have learned on the transformation journey with other organisations.
Last updated: 21 Mar 2022
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