Poor old HMRC, they really can't quite get the hang of addressing an envelope properly.
I guess what with the strain of losing data discs on a regular basis, they can't quite focus their minds on more mundane activities such as envelope addressing.
The Oxford mail reports that the good old boys in HMRC sent Ron Leaver and Tracey Giles a number of letters over a period of months.
So far so good.
Unfortunately, the letters contained child benefit and national insurance numbers meant for other people.
Mr Leaver, from Merton near Bicester, received over a dozen letters that were in fact meant to go to Buckinghamshire County Council.
The letters contained a veritable smorgasbord of names and NI numbers of former council employees, one even contained a cheque for £2,000.
HMRC had managed to delude themselves that the local authority, whose headquarters are in Aylesbury, was in fact based 18 miles away at a private house in a small Oxfordshire village.
Mr Leaver needless to say did point out the mistake to the ever alert HMRC, yet HMRC continued to send him the letters.
He is quoted in the Oxford Mail:
"I'm disgusted with the situation. No one has been able to tell me why they did this.
If it's happening to me is it happening to other people?
It's an absolute shambles."
Needless to say if it happens to one person, as sure as eggs are eggs, it will happen to another. Tracey Giles, from Hempton, found this out for herself. She was sent a letter meant for a Tracey Mason.
The letter was an apology for losing the data discs, and of course contained the NI and child benefit numbers of the intended recipient.
Ms Giles is now worried, not unreasonably, that someone else has her details thanks to the mind numbing incompetence of HMRC.
An HMRC spokesman said:
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are currently writing to over seven million child benefit claimants. Letters are still being sent, so people shouldn't worry if they haven't yet received an apology."
Here is a free piece of advice to HMRC, the sending of the apology letters (as pointed out earlier on this site) is a major security blunder. Given that all of the letters have not yet been sent, HMRC should stop sending any more now.
Now that they have been publicly told that the apology letters represent a major security risk, not to stop sending them is criminally negligent.
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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.