The long read: In late March, Mark Denney received an unusual call from a senior policy official in Number 11.

“They said ‘we have got something that we need you to do’,” recalls Denney, the chief digital and information officer for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). “‘It is something very different from anything HMRC has done before.’”

Over the following four weeks, Denney led a 200-strong team to deliver the technology underpinning one of the most ambitious examples of economic intervention in British history. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) launched on 20 April, and now supports the incomes of more than six million people.

This is the inside story of how the project, delivered in record time and under unprecedented circumstances, came to fruition. Read our exclusive report here.

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