It’s been a busy week or so for HMRC Digital. On 1 September Mark Dearnley and I were in Telford for the official opening of our latest Digital Delivery Centre. We’ve set it up with Capgemini who will also be able to use it with other clients. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke MP was there to cut the ribbon and see first-hand how we are continuing to build our digital capability.
I was also delighted to host last week’s developer conference at the Royal Society to discuss HMRC's API strategy with 100 developer colleagues. It was a high energy day with presentations from Jim Harra the Director General for Business Tax and Mark Dearnley, HMRC’s CDIO.
Jim set the business context and outlined our vision for Making Tax Easier. Mark shared the vision for APIs and our API first approach. And, he emphasised how we want to work with the industry to build high quality tax products for our joint customers.
We broke into a series of discussion groups and delegates had the opportunity to debate and question tax experts on Making Tax Easier exploring their early thinking.
We were absolutely privileged to host our minister again, who delivered the keynote speech and told delegates “This is a chance to help deliver the tax services of tomorrow, and transform the way millions of people interact with HMRC”.
We ran a second series of discussion groups debating the API strategy in more detail, gave delegates a glimpse of the Developer Hub - illustrating the private beta due in November - and some insight into how we developed the Multi-Channel Digital Tax Platform.
There was a huge amount of debate during the day, with delegates telling us what was important to them, this included;
- lively debate on webhooks and other callback mechanisms
- how we will separate tokens in the sandbox environment from production
- moving from XML to JSON and what that might mean
- the next level of detail; delegates wanted more, more, more…
Watch this space over the next few weeks. We have given a commitment to come back in four weeks with our roadmap to convert existing APIs to JSON alternatives and the timetable for publishing the new digital APIs developed to support services such as the Business and Personal Tax Accounts.
Brigid and her team have some innovative ideas for gathering feedback on developer priorities to inform the roadmap – I can’t wait to see what they have in mind.
Please get involved – leave us a post and share your thinking with the community – or, you can email our support team at SDSTeam@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.