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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.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
The Big Idea
In April 2007 our "efficient", "competent" and "respected" government held an Employee Engagement Working Group (EEWG) meeting. This witches coven consisted of fourteen members from Britain's foremost government departments; the Department for Work and Pensions, HMRC, and the Ministry of Defence.
All of them well known for their high levels of "efficiency", "openness" and "staff morale".
The HMRC representative on the EEWG was Russell Grossman, HMRC's then head of internal and change communications. He joined HMRC in January 2006, from the BBC.
Grossman was quoted as saying, before joining HMRC:
"The big cultural shift for the department will be focusing on the customer, rather than just collecting tax.
It's an opportunity to mould an internal communication department into one that's a high-performing, best-practice one – rather like we've achieved at the BBC."
Pass the sick bag someone!
This man's head was so clearly stuck up his own backside that he cannot see anything at all!
Anyhoo, here is what the "brains" of the EEWG discussed.
It was realised that not stapling documents together, but putting them in a reusable folder instead, avoided someone else unstapling the documents. Seemingly multiply that action hundreds of times, and you get real productivity gains.
Doubtless you think that I jest, and that I have made that up.
Surely senior government officials would not waste their time talking about such trivial crap?
Unfortunately, I kid you not!
Here is a direct quote from Grossman, whose head appears to have gone even further up his own backside:
"Performance Improvement Events for large number of frontline staff are not just about making staff feel involved. That would be patronising. The focus is on generating real local solutions…
in one celebrated example, people realised that not stapling documents together but putting them in a reusable folder instead avoided someone else unstapling the documents.
Multiply that action hundreds of times and you get real productivity gains… and quite a few less accidentally stabbed fingers!"
Way to go HMRC!
Grossman has now left HMRC, and is now at the director of communications at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Are people like this, and their lame brained ideas, really what our tax payments are being spent on?
Is it any wonder that staff morale in HMRC has declined to an all time low?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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