Regular readers will doubtless recall that I have on numerous occasions referred to "acting Chairman" of HMRC Dave Hartnett as being the "nearly man", always the bridesmaid but never the bride.
Indeed you will also recall that I have asked on several occasions why it is that the "acting" part of his title has not been removed, or at the very least he is replaced with a more permanent person.
Well, it seems that those "in charge" of HMRC have been reading this site and have finally taken my advice.
Ladies and Gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to inform you that Dave's "nearly man" days are at an end, up to a point; he is no longer "acting chairman" of HMRC.
HMRC have announced a new chairman, Mike Clasper who was once CEO of BAA (a "world class" company, massively in debt, providing "world class" facilities at Heathrow et al).
What, I hear you ask, is to become of Dave Hartnett?
He will become....wait for it....
Cue a roll on the drums!!
Acting Chief Executive, whilst HMRC look for someone else to fill the role on a more permanent basis.
Farking hell, is there no limit to which HMRC is prepared to humiliate this man?
Is there any limit to the amount of humiliation that Dave is prepared to endure?
Below is the full text of the announcement, and Q&A article, which appeared on the HMRC Intranet site yesterday.
I draw your attention to this particularly fine piece of prose contained within the Q&A article:
"Did Dave Hartnett apply for either job?
We don't announce applicants, only outcomes. Dave will become the acting CEO as soon as the new chair takes up appointment."
There you have it in black and white, if Dave applied for Chairman he failed and is being shunted from pillar to post; always the bridesmaid never the bride.
There are two questions that I must ask:
1 Did someone actually get paid for writing this (the announcement/Q&A article) pile of shite?
2 Did someone in "authority" within HMRC actually approve this pile of shite before it was posted on the intranet?
I assume the answer yes, applies to both questions. In which case it seems proven, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that HMRC senior management are completely clueless. My sympathies are 100% with the people who have to work there, it must be hell on earth.
Oh, how careless of me, I almost forgot to mention this.
Clasper left BAA in 2006 with a pay, pension and share package worth £10 million. Clasper can expect to be paid for his 3 days a week at HMRC in line with a permanent secretary salary scale of between £139,740 and £273,250.
The Prime Minister has announced the appointment of Mike Clasper as chair of HMRC following an open recruitment process.
Mike will oversee the Department's strategic direction, play a lead role in continuing to strengthen HMRC's corporate governance and drive forward engagement with its many stakeholders.
He will take up the post on 1 August, working three days a week, and will be involved in the selection of HMRC's first chief executive - who will take charge of the Department's day-to-day business.
Dave Hartnett will become acting chief executive until the selection process has been completed.
Mike said: "HMRC plays a vital and unique role in the life of our country, its work touching every individual and business. I want to see HMRC in the vanguard of public service delivery, providing a top quality and reliable experience for all of its users.
"That is what those who work in HMRC want and I'm determined that working together we will achieve that goal."
Mike joins HMRC from Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd, where he was an operational managing director. He was formerly chief executive at BAA plc.
Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: "Appointing someone of Mike's calibre and experience is particularly important at this point in HMRC's development and I am delighted he has agreed to take on the role. Mike will bring the leadership and vision needed to deliver on HMRC’s goals of providing an enhanced service to all of its customers across the UK."
Welcoming Mike to the Department, Dave Hartnett said: "It has been an honour to serve as acting chairman and I look forward to helping build on the progress we've made so far."
What is the role of the chair?
His role will be to strengthen HMRC's corporate governance and to provide oversight to the executive committee and departmental board. In addition, he will play a key role for HMRC by engaging with the Department's many stakeholders.
Key aspects of the role include:
Ensuring that HMRC has a clear strategic direction, which reflects ministers' priorities, is consistent with the resources made available by Parliament and enables the organisation to maximise the revenues properly collected and improve services to its customers.
Together with HMRC's board, to develop the strategy, holding the chief executive and senior executives to account for delivering that strategy and for the organisation's performance.
To oversee and ensure the highest standards of corporate governance, which means there are clear roles and responsibilities for all staff within HMRC and that the right cultures and behaviours exist to help deliver our objectives.
By providing leadership to the board; taking responsibility for the board's composition and development; ensuring good information and analysis for the board; and planning and conducting board meetings effectively.
Along with other members of the board, to hold the chief executive and senior executives to account for the delivery of HMRC's strategy and for the organisation's performance in meeting the targets set by ministers. To play a strong representational role, with ministers, Parliament and key stakeholders, including explaining HMRC's strategic direction to them and to its own staff; and to win their support for, and commitment to, that strategy and the resources required to carry it out.
Appear before select committees to give evidence about the strategic direction of HMRC and governance issues.
The role is part time – how part time?
The post will be 3 days a week.
What level of salary is he getting for this part time post?
His pro-rata salary for 3 days a week is commensurate with that of the most senior civil servants
Why is he only working part time - who is in charge the rest of the time?
The role of chair is to assure delivery of the departmental strategy. It is not to run the business; that is a full time job. The day-to-day running of the Department is the responsibility of the chief executive and the executive team. Chairs of huge and complex multi-nationals in the private sector with this kind of assurance role are frequently part-time.
Why is a part-time chair appropriate for an organisation dealing with "hundreds of billions" of pounds?
Because he will oversee the delivery of the departmental strategy. It is not to run the business; that is a full time job for the CEO. Chairs of huge and complex multi-nationals in the private sector with this kind of assurance role are frequently part-time.
What will he do on the other two days a week?
Mike Clasper is a non executive director of ITV plc, a position he will retain. He is also chairman of the West London Consortium, a body aimed at improving employment and skills services to residents and employers.
What is his CBE for?
Mike was awarded a CBE in 2005 for services to the environment. He led an all-industry taskforce on packaging waste, among other activities.
Will he be retaining his non executive directorship with ITV?
What about the conflict of interest?
As chair of HMRC, Mike is bound by the rules on avoiding conflicts of interest as set out in HMRC guidance. This means he has to take all possible steps to protect himself and the Department from allegations or perceptions of impropriety. He has to give priority to the role of HMRC chair over any past or present associations with any other businesses.
Will we ensure that the new chair and chief executive have never been involved in tax planning/avoidance/evasion?
The successful candidates will be of the highest integrity. There is no question anybody appointed to the posts could bring the Department or their own personal integrity into question.
Will they have to open their financial affairs to scrutiny?
They will be subject to the same checks designed to ensure financial propriety as any other member of HMRC.
Why do we need two people to run the department when we only had one before?
Only one person will be running the department; the chief executive. The chair's role will be to provide strategic leadership and oversight. This is in line with the recommendation in the HMRC Capability Review that we should consider separate roles for a chief executive and chairman.
How can a chair with no experience of HMRC run a tax collecting department?
This is not a question of running tax collection. The role is to ensure HMRC sets the right strategy in line with ministers' priorities and delivers it. Mike has been appointed on the basis of his extensive leadership skills and experience.
Will the chair be directly employed by HMRC/the Civil Service?
The chair will be a civil servant.
Will the chair or chief executive be a commissioner?
This is yet to be decided.
Why were the jobs not advertised and appointed together?
It is sensible that the chair is involved in the selection of the chief executive
When will the CEO appointment be confirmed?
The CEO competition is ongoing and an announcement will be made in due course. The current expectations are that this will be in September, giving the chair time to get to know the organisation before the final selection is made.
Did Dave Hartnett apply for either job?
We don't announce applicants, only outcomes. Dave will become the acting CEO as soon as the new chair takes up appointment.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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