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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.
Friday, 16 October 2009
As we are about to enter a period of postal disruption, it is probably worthwhile commenting on HMRC's centralised post rooms.
There are I think, but please correct this if I am wrong, three in the UK. They are staffed by people working to targets, who have no knowledge of the tax system; ie the letters are meaningless to them, and they do not have the experience to direct them to the correct offices or departments.
Ironically, even though they work to targets, they do not receive feedback as to the quality of their service so that they can improve it.
HMRC pay for all the post to be re-directed ("customers", or tax payers, are never given the central post room addresses) to the central post rooms. The post is then opened, sorted (apparently some documents become detached and separated from the main letter) then HMRC pay for it to be re delivered by TNT, more often than not to the office that the letter was addressed to originally.
Staff, in at least one central post room, frequently fall behind wrt post opening and are then paid overtime to work weekends to try to catch up.
All outgoing post also has to go via the central post room, it is then taken by TNT to be packed in envelopes and then posted out from there.
As one commentator in the PCS magazine notes:
"Can it truly be more efficient to send mail posted in London to a regional post room miles away to be dealt with and then sent back?"
Answers on a postcard please!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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