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Wednesday, 28 January 2009
It's Official - HMRC Is Shite
The Treasury - First Report
Administration and expenditure of the Chancellor's departments, 2007-08
Published January 2009
Indicates that Parliament also believes that HMRC is shite:
"We are disappointed that HRMC took 12 months to replace its Chief Executive, thereby deepening the uncertainty felt by staff members already part way through a far reaching review of HMRC's operations. We recommend that the Government ensure a full permanent senior management team is in place in HMRC as soon as possible..
We believe that having a 'Permanent Secretary for Tax' alongside the Chief Executive and Chairman of HMRC may obscure clear lines of accountability. We recommend that HMRC publish and widely circulate clear information on the respective responsibilities of its senior management team, including responsibility for data management...
It is our view that HMRC's explanation of the basis for the payment to Stuart Cruickshank is wholly inadequate. We are further unconvinced that the £88,125 received by Stuart Cruickshank represents good value for the taxpayer. We recommend that the Government ensure that all departments are adhering to best practice regarding ex-gratia payments...
We note the National Audit Office's assertion that, in order to maximise the benefits of its Transformation Programme, HMRC must convince staff of its benefits. The low levels of morale within the Department are startling with profound potential impacts on both the Transformation Programme and core service delivery. We will continue to monitor the efforts made by senior management to improve matters. We seek an explanation of how Ministers will monitor and report progress...
We are concerned that individuals without access to the internet, notably less well off or elderly taxpayers, may face increased levels of non-filing penalty charges following the revision to the paper filing deadline. We recommend that the Government should publish any analysis available to it of the demographic profile of those facing non-filing fees following the 31 October paper filing deadline. If such evidence is not available to the Government then it should be commissioned as a matter of urgency...
We recommend that HMRC disclose information regarding the financial case for individual office closures in order to allow better public scrutiny of these decisions...
We ask the Government to update the latest progress made by HMRC against Kieran Poynter's recommendations regarding information security...
We are extremely concerned by the level of fraud within HMRC. We will continue to monitor the steps taken to improve controls...
We recommend that the Government ensure the performance against agreed targets by PFI contractors is published within Departmental Annual Reports in order to enable clearer scrutiny of these recipients of public funds...
We recommend that HMRC reviews the contracts with its IT provider in the light of the very serious errors which have recently occurred and seeks financial compensation where appropriate. We regard it as wholly unsatisfactory that people entitled to Child Trust Fund payments should not have received them owing to the poor performance of an IT contractor. We seek assurances that the contracts drawn up with the PFI companies adequately allow for appropriate compensation to the taxpayer in the event of serious performance shortcomings...
We note that the introduction of HMRC's new IT system has been delayed by a year. We accept that postponing the 'go live' date until testing is complete is prudent. HMRC should publish the performance targets for the new system in terms of reduced open cases and other measures so that we may better monitor its effectiveness. "
Tax does have to be taxing.
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