Receipts Quebec | Its efficiency is weighed down by software

Do you find that the tax authorities are processing your tax return too slowly? Be patient with your pain. Revenu Québec lost five years of work and $34 million trying to run software designed to speed up the analysis of taxpayers’ files, but it turned out to be “unusable,” according to court documents viewed by The press.

Posted at 5:00 am

Vincent Larouche

Vincent Larouche
The press

This emerges from a claim for damages by Revenu Québec against Fujitsu. This multinational computer company is the supplier and seller of the DXP platform, which aims to make life easier for officials by giving them easy access to all information about a taxpayer and automating task assignment while processing cases.

In its lawsuit filed in the Montreal court, Revenu Québec alleges that Fujitsu deceived it by misrepresenting its platform’s actual capabilities.

When Revenu Québec launched its tender for a new IT platform in 2015, the government agency had clear requirements: The product should be able to support the work of 8,500 public service users, 3,000 of them permanent, with a maximum response time of 100,000 three Seconds for each query in the system.

Because with the astronomical amount of information that officials have to process, every second counts. Too slow a response, multiplied by millions of transactions, can seriously strain the response of Quebec’s tax engine.

“This is the internal standard at Revenu Québec. We try not to exceed three seconds per request, but three seconds is already the limit. It should take a second or two,” says an inside source who has confided The press on condition of anonymity as she is not authorized to speak publicly about these files.


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Fujitsu is a Japanese multinational computer company.

Revenu Québec claims in its lawsuit that Fujitsu promised it a high-performance platform that could process much more information than the tax authorities required.

“The number of cases or users is unlimited,” a company representative reportedly assured officials during a presentation.

“There is no doubt about the performance of the solution. We have places where they manage six million cases at once,” added a Fujitsu expert in the same presentation.

Several minutes instead of three seconds

Revenu Québec therefore bought the DXP platform in 2016. The initial contract was for around 11 million, but there were later additions. “The goal was to save time and make the task easier to complete,” says a source within the government agency.

Officials began testing the platform at a low operating volume, well below what they would ultimately need. The results were catastrophic, explains Revenu Québec.

Instead of three seconds, the response time to a request in the system was sometimes “a few minutes”, according to the request submitted to the court.

“These issues result in many complaints from users, and this situation is unsustainable in the short, medium or long term,” a senior public service official said in an email to Fujitsu cited in the court documents.

“In addition to performance issues, several other contract requirements still appear unmet,” the lawsuit states.

It was a real nightmare working with DXP. There are a lot of bugs and anomalies, and that set us back a lot in development.

An inside source who confided The press

The software turned out to be “unusable”, “against all odds”, confirms Revenu Québec in a new public notice aimed at obtaining an alternative solution, published last winter.

Revenu Québec states that at a meeting in February 2021, representatives of Fujitsu Conseil admitted that they could not guarantee that the platform would meet the requirements of the tax authorities and that it had never been implemented at a customer with similar requirements, which previous representatives of the company contradicted this.

“At the time, Revenu Québec had been waiting in vain for almost five years for a platform that met the requirements,” the court’s application explains. The lawsuit states that the company could not ignore its platform’s inability to adequately meet the requirements of the Quebec tax authorities.

Revenu Québec is now demanding 34 million from Fujitsu to recover its losses in this case, specifically the purchase of the platform, technical support and implementation, including the tidy sum of 4.5 million in losses of tax reclaim benefits that have never materialized since its new platform could not be implemented.

Damaged Relationships

The lawsuit risks damaging the relationship between the public body and one of its main suppliers. Fujitsu has won numerous contracts with Revenu Québec over the years. In 2013, The Journal of Montreal also announced that the company had won four tenders for Revenu Québec, which it had helped develop as a consultant.

In its offer to sell the DXP platform, Fujitsu also emphasized “its deep knowledge of Revenu Québec in terms of its technological environment, its organization and its business areas”.

“We are aware of this lawsuit but do not comment on any pending litigation,” said Tamara Keserovic, acting chief marketing officer, Fujitsu North America, when reached out to her The press.

At Revenu Québec and in the office of Treasury Secretary Eric Girard, we also refuse to comment on this affair.

Learn more

  • 12,000
    Number of employees at Revenue Quebec

    Source: Quebec Revenue

  • 6.8 million
    Number of people filing annual income tax returns in Quebec

    Source: Quebec Revenue

    616 159
    Number of legal entities filing annual income tax returns in Quebec

    Source: Quebec Revenue

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