HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
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.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Whither Kenny?

Where's Kenny?

My thanks to the loyal reader who alerted us about the recent demise of Bernadette Kenny (Director General for Personal Tax at HMRC):

"Well, Bernadette Kenny is no longer part of the ExCom... shame really.. ahem..

Now here is a funny thing, there is a Blog Post from Kenny dated 01/11/10 which waxes lyrical about the challenges facing Personal Tax and all the things that she is focusing on... then on 02/11/10 Leslie Strathie's Newsboard Message is saying Kenny is leaving and thank you and goodbye!

I wonder what occurred between the BlogPost of 01/11 and the departure as noted in the NewsBoard of 02/11/10. Did anyone else find this strange?

Now a cynic may assume it is because heads had to roll because of the PAYE fiasco (of which Kenny was apparently in charge)... but I couldn't possibly comment on such cynicism!

I did a wee bit of a "Google" on Ms Kenny and came up with a few background nuggets, that may be of interest.

Opprotunity Now (some form of quango by the looks of it) highlights Kenny as a "Champion" in a case study from 2009:

"...Bernadette Kenny who is the Director General for Personal Tax at H.M. Revenue & Customs and also the organisation's gender champion. Bernadette has responsibility for over 35,000 people and is one of the organisation’s most senior women.

As gender champion Bernadette provides visible leadership commitment to equality and diversity. She helps to articulate the business case and ensures that it is understood and acted upon at the highest levels of the business. H.M. Revenue & Customs (HMRC) commends her for her commitment, enthusiasm and personal passion for the subject...."

In the real world, what exactly does a "gender champion" do that cannot be done by the HR department?

Why is the Director General for Personal Tax involved with HR matters?

Oddly enough, despite being "demised", Kenny still appears on the Corporate Governance section of the HMRC site (no mention of her demise, and indeed no mention of her "gender champion" role. Did HMRC not know that she was "gender champion"?)

"Bernadette's Executive Committee portfolio includes Customer Operations, Customer Contact, PAYE, Self Assessment and National Insurance contributions, Individuals Customer Directorate and Charity, Assets and Residence. Bernadette joined HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in May 2005, following a short period as acting Chief Executive of the Royal Parks.

She had previously spent 24 years at the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), having started in the then Lord Chancellor's Department as a Government lawyer in 1980. After an early career in a range of both legal and policy posts, she moved into operations in 1991 managing civil and the higher criminal courts in South East England.

She led the team that launched the Court Service as an executive agency in 1995 before setting up the new agency's Human Resource and Learning function. She moved onto the agency board in 1999, leading on business change, IT, procurement and tribunals operations. She returned to DCA Headquarters in 2002 as Change Director

So is she going or not?

Please could someone send me a copy of the announcement from Strathie about Kenny leaving?


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  1. Kenny is indeed leaving in January 2011 "to pursue other opportunities". So it looks like she is not being shunted elsewhere in the Civil Service. According to the latest Newsboard message, yesterday, there is scant further information although I am surprised there has not been a press release or any media interest considering the PAYE fiasco earlier. I can not provide a copy as most HMRC staff are not allowed internet access or external e-mail.

  2. Kenny's "temporary" replacement is someone called Stephen Banyard... yes .. I've not heard of him either. Must be another of those fabled "High Fliers" we keep hearing about in the Civil Service :)

  3. Banyard is currently HMRCs director of Business Customer Unit and is a carrer Civil Servant

  4. Some of us do have external email and internet access, but I think we're monitored better than al-qaeda so no chance of emailing that past the IG gestapo. Maybe ask the press office to email it?

  5. Copy, paste,(I notice they have hidden notebook now lol) print (when no one else is near the printer) take home print, scan, then email to Ken, simples ;)

  6. Careful, the printer will probably keep a copy an email to de management.

  7. Jesus, is this what working at HMRC is like? How do you handle such pettiness?

  8. 5 November 2010 08:38, take some time to read back through some of the older threads on this site. You will be amazed at what working for HMRC is like.

  9. I see Accountancy Age had confirmation of the goings on at HMRC yesterday.

    "An HMRC spokesman said: "Bernadette Kenny, director general personal tax, is leaving HMRC at the end of January after 5 years with the department.
    "Bernadette who has been a civil servant for 30 years, has decided that she would like to pursue other career opportunities.
    "Stephen Banyard, currently director of HMRC‘s business customer unit will replace Bernadette on a temporary basis."
    The taxman was unable to comment on Kenny's next post, but confirmed it has set aside six months to find her replacement."

    So ExCom is not reducing in size after all. Seems like a shrinking HMRC will continue to be "managed" by a bloated Senior Civil Service Structure

  10. In every HMRC office there are men in white suits standing behind one way only glass partitions. They monitor email and internet usage in the office.
    Since kenny is going this approach will be stepped up so the outside world is no wiser.

  11. FeS2 @ 08:38...

    ...HMRC operate a Draconian blame culture like you would not believe!!! The staff are bullied and squeezed so much so that the farking pips are coming out!!!