HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

HMRC Moving With The Times


Despite HMRC's management of the Aspire project being "unacceptably poor", I am pleased to see that not everything in the HMRC IT garden is withering on the vine.

A loyal reader writes:
"We're getting up to date, moving on to the "new windows" - yes, that's the windows 7 that was released in 2009!!!"
That's the spirit!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

HMRC's £10BN Aspire Contract - Unacceptably Poor


As loyal readers know, I have on occasions written about HMRC's Aspire contract; eg in August 2013 I wrote:
"HMRC has spent over £3.7BN with Capgemini over the last five years on the Aspire contract. The contract was originally valued at £2.8BN.

As per Computing the spend was:

-2008/09:  £777.1m
-2009/10:  £728.9m
-2010/11:  £757.8m
-2011/12:  £735.5m
-2012/13:  £773.5m

HMRC won't reveal a more detailed breakdown of its costs:

"It is considered that disclosure of details about cost breakdown of payments made by HMRC to Capgemini would prejudice the commercial interests of HMRC as a contracting authority and our ability to deliver best value.
It is also considered that release of such information would weaken our supplier's position in a competitive environment by revealing market-sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to its competitors."
Does this spend represent value for money?"
Fast forward almost a year, and we see Aspire in the headlines yet again.

The National Audit Office (NAO) says, in a report entitled Managing and Replacing The Aspire Contract, that the Aspire contract cost £7.9BN between July 2004 and March 2014, and estimates that, by the time it ends in June 2017, HMRC will have spent £10.4BN.

Note that the original contract was valued at £2.8BN.

How on earth has the spend so skyrocketed out of control?

Very simple, additional projects and services have been added. Unfortunately these have not been market tested; ie HMRC has happily allowed the new work to be done by Capgemini without checking to see if it could be done better or more cheaply by others.
"Both Capgemini and its subcontractor, Fujitsu, have achieved considerably more profit than was modelled in 2004. "
Well done lads!

The NAO report also notes that HMRC was overly dependent on the technical capability of the Aspire suppliers between 2004 and 2012, which limited its ability to manage the contract commercially.

"There are serious risks to HMRC’s business if the programme to replace the Aspire contract fails to meet its objectives by June 2017, when the contract ends."
Amyas Morse, NAO head, said:
"HMRC faced complex, long term technology challenges, and Aspire provided an appropriate means of working through them and limiting risk. However, there has been a lack of rigour in HMRC's commercial management of the contract. 

It is essential in any contract that the client retains the independent expertise to challenge the supplier. We welcome HMRC’s recognition of this part way through the Aspire contract and its efforts now to rebuild its capability. 

HMRC now faces a considerable challenge in a limited amount of time to negotiate reform to the contract while at the same time defining its technology strategy for post-Aspire."
Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) described HMRC’s management of Aspire as ‘unacceptably poor’.

Quite so!

She went on to say:
"Its own lack of capability meant HMRC was over-reliant on providers’ technical expertise, undermining its ability to act as an intelligent customer on behalf of the taxpayer. All of this gives me little confidence that HMRC’s senior team has the capability to manage large and complex contracts."
I agree, as I have noted many times before government departments do not manage large IT projects well.

This is indeed UNACCEPTABLY POOR!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Where's Dotty?


My thanks to a loyal reader who posted this comment the other day in response to my article about Dorthy Brown:
"Dorothy Brown is now the PT ops director and has nothing to do with the chief people officer role Ken"
It seems there is some confusion (in my mind at least) as to what Brown's role actually is now.

For you see, according to Gov.UK she is still "Interim Chief People Officer":
"Biography
Dorothy joined HMRC as the HR Director for Personal Tax Group in January 2008 and becomes the Interim Chief People Officer following her role as the Director Workforce Management for HMRC and HR Director for Enforcement & Compliance.

Between June 2009 and March 2012 Dorothy was Director of HR Operations for HMRC, responsible for HR Shared Services, Employee Relations and Advice, Reward and Policy, Security and Information, Occupational Health and Safety and Employee Engagement. Dorothy joined HR in the Court Service in 1991 and was the HMCS HR Director prior to joining HMRC. Before that she worked in different business areas of the Lord Chancellor’s Department, including Finance, Audit and the Crown Court."
Additionally, according to LinkedIn she is HR Director.

Please can someone send me a link or document that shows her current title?

Thanks.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, 21 July 2014

What a Whopper!



The Finance Bill received Royal Assent on 17 July 2014 and Finance Act 2014, at 646 pages, is the second longest Finance Act ever.
 
I thought this government had promised simplification?

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dorothy Brown - Building Our Future


My thanks to a loyal reader who forwarded me the following message sent to HMRC staff from Dorothy Brown Interim Chief People Officer (oddly enough in 2013 she was Chief People Officer, why now is she only "Interim"?).

Her message contains one minor glitch, in the second paragraph she doesn't use a capital "F" in the "Building our Future" phrase.

That's definitely off message!
  
"Personal Tax Operations
Building our Future in PT Operations – the next steps
17 July 2014

Now that the first wave of Building our Future events has taken place in PT Operations I wanted to write and give you an update on what’s happening next with all the feedback you’ve given us.

Building our future, HMRC’s national conversation about the future of our department has been taking place in PT Operations for nearly six weeks now. You’ll remember that because July is the busiest time of the year for our helplines I asked for the roll-out of these events to be brought forward so that as many people as possible were able to attend an event before the end of June. So far we’ve run over 60 sessions for around 7,000 of our people. This is a great achievement and everyone else will have an opportunity to attend an event by the mid-August.

The first thing I want to say is a huge thank you to everyone for bringing such lively enthusiasm, passion and debate to the conversation. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of events and your commitment and dedication to do the best for our customers and your desire to be involved in the way we transform HMRC really shone through.

The feedback from the events has been phenomenal – and a number of similar issues keep coming-up again and again. You are rightly interested in what a move to regional centres will mean, how new digital tools will impact on our work, and about career opportunities, training and communications.

While Building our Future is a going to be an ongoing conversation, I don’t want us to delay in addressing the areas when we can do something now:

Training – has been a big issue at every single event and you’ve told us that there should be a better balance between online learning and face-to-face training when changes are introduced.

I want us to work with you to look at how future learning is managed. As a first step, and in response to your concerns, training to support the introduction of digitised mail will now be delivered face-to-face instead of using e-learning.

IT and security – has been another major talking point and you’ve expressed concerns that our systems aren’t fit for purpose. Our people in Dundee told me about some real issues that were affecting their work. To try and address these problems I have arranged for a team from the Chief Digital and Information Officer’s (CDIO) area to go and spend some time with our front-line staff to see the problems caused by unreliable IT kit.

Office environment – you’ve told us that the condition and cleanliness of your offices often leaves a lot to be desired. In particular colleagues in Manchester expressed real concerns about the maintenance of their building. I have directly approached the Director of Estates and Support Services (ESS) about fixing these problems and I’m pleased to report that a new cleaning programme in Manchester has now been implemented.

These might seem like small issues, but I want you to know that we are committed to addressing immediate issues where we can. We are collating all of the written feedback from your sessions and will analyse this in detail.

The first phase of Building our Future is nearly complete, and a second wave of events will start in October. Many of you have told me that you are still reserving judgement and will be waiting to see what happens next. I want you to know that I will be striving to keep up the momentum and to demonstrate our commitment to this two-way conversation. I’m meeting with my senior leadership team on 11 August to look at more of your feedback and to discuss the next steps. Following this meeting you can expect to see regular communication from us on the progress we are making with Building our Future in PT Operations.

Dorothy"

Given that she is now only "Interim", HMRC staff may choose to take what she says with a pinch of salt.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, 18 July 2014

Homer Deserves Her Bonus


I am pleased to see that Lin Homer, current CEO of HMRC, feels that she has done such a good job that she deserves her £15K-£20K bonus.

Homer said she should keep on to a bonus, saying it reflected “a very good performance”.
Homer is quoted by the Telegraph telling PAC:
We have tried to make sure we are rewarding a very good performance from a number of people.

I’m confident the bonuses that were given out were deserved. I don’t feel that anything we’ve explained to you has warranted any review of that.”
What say you loyal readers?

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"