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.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Enemy of The People - The Blame Game



When an organisation or individual has a problem, until that organisation/person admits to themselves and others that they have a problem that problem will not be addressed.

Thus we should all feel rather depressed to read that according to The Parliamentary Ombudsman three government agencies (including, surprise surprise, HMRC) have not had the guts to own up to problems, and have instead played the old political game of passing the buck and blaming each other.

Parliamentary Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, has published a report "A Breach of Confidence" which noted that the 3 agencies (HMRC, Child Support Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions) collectively failed to deal with a data mistake (first reported in 2006), which led to a woman's personal and financial information being wrongfully disclosed to her former partner, and her child support payments being reduced without her knowledge.

In 2006 one of the agencies incorrectly updated her records to show her living at her former partner's address, although she had in fact never lived there.

Not unreasonably the woman was pissed off, and tried gain assurance that the mistake had been corrected.

As is the way with brain dead "jobsworth" government agencies, she was passed from pillar to post. No one was prepared to accept responsibility.

Polticians and government departments are incapable of admitting responsibility for mistakes, which is why their remit over our lives should be minimised.

The ombudsman's report concluded that, in effect, the agencies were useless and dishonest:

-The computer systems used by the 3 agencies could make changes to the woman's data without her knowledge or consent. However, for reasons that no one has yet explained, the networks cannot identify the source of any errors.

Does anyone seriously believe that master data changes cannot be traced to source?

- The 3 brain dead agencies blamed each other and, of course, "the system". Thus, they concluded, "nothing could be done".

As we know, IT systems are only as good as the data input and their underlying programing (ie cock ups happen because of the human element, not the machine element). The fact that the agencies concluded that "nothing could be done" speaks volumes about their attitude to the people who pay for their existence (ie the taxpayers).

Is it not ironic that the IT systems of the 3 agencies are able to communicate, yet the human "jobsworth" members of these organisations won't communicate with each other?

The good news is that this troika of uselessness have been instructed to apologise, and to pay £2K compensation.

The enemy of the people has become the state, it has manifestly failed in its duty of care, efficiency and probity and needs to be cut back root and branch!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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10 comments:

  1. " Is it not ironic that the IT systems of the 3 agencies are able to communicate, yet the human "jobsworth" members of these organisations won't communicate with each other?"

    I am shocked at the piece, not at the article itself but at the tone used towards the staff of the bodies. This is just breeding contempt.
    I'm a long time reader of this site and am shocked to say the least.
    As a staff member of one of the bodies, the abuse we have to suffer from the general public is awful but this will just add to it.

    Again not shocked by the details themselves but the attitude portrayed by your website.

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  2. As someone who has dealt with HMRC and the CSA a lot over the years the phrase "useless and dishonest" does ring bells.

    I have been waiting for paperwork from the CSA for about 4 months now. I keep being told it s being dealt with but yet it never seems to arrive. HMRC, well I think many of the posts on here back up the comment.

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  3. @ 20:24 Just Ken showing his true colours.

    HMRC Is Shite is dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the brain dead human "jobsworth" members of HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

    There you go. I fixed that for you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. For good measure I will also add a footnote about job centres (off topic I know).

    Someone I know went to a job centre less than 2 years ago looking for help and advice about finding work (as she was newly arrived in the country/area).

    Having been taken through the list of questions about status, savings, income etc (as the job centre person couldn't get it into her head that the enquiry was not about benefits), my friend repeated as clearly as she could that she wasn't after benefits but wanted help and advice about seeking work in the area based on her qualifications etc.

    The response from the job centre employee was "it is not my responsibility to help you find a job, you have to go online".

    My friend said that she had never felt so humiliated in her life by the experience of dealing with this job centre.

    The state and its agencies needs a fundamental root and bracnh overhaul (for both the benefit of the "public" - incidently are not members of government agencies also the public? - and the staff of these agencies)

    ReplyDelete
  5. At what point do HMRC staff wake up and think why they keep being treated badly?

    Probably never, because most are brain dead and unemployable in the real world.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ 14:27

    Most HMRC staff now have come from the outside working environment, most are intelligent human beings who work at HMRC because they'd rather work than claim dole, or are mums with young families, or numerous other reasons.
    I personally had a high paid career before HMRC, I made the move to HMRC so I could start a family whilst working due to the excellent family friendly provision that I would not have recieved in any other industry. Selfish, yes, but I am not brain dead, I would say that my move actually shows some intelligence, granted I will not be there forever as I do not like being spoken to like a piece of sh*t by the general public BUT it suits my family at the moment.

    This site is letting the staff of HMRC down badly as at the end of the day they are normal folk trying to earn a living by doing what they are advised by their managers.

    Rant over.

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  7. "This site is letting the staff of HMRC down badly as at the end of the day they are normal folk trying to earn a living by doing what they are advised by their managers."

    Actually you are letting yourself down by not standing up for yourselves. This site can only help HMRC staff if they make an effort (with the help of the unions) to deal with the problems themselves. The longer HMRC staff allow HMRC to fail the harder it will be to get any kind of public support.

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  8. anom 14:27

    The article says "..brain dead "jobsworth" GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.."

    Not

    ".. brain dead "jobsworth" PEOPLE"

    It is up to the politicians, management and people working for these agencies to devise ways of working/procedures that allow commonsense (eg communicating with other agencies, fessing up to mistakes and correcting them etc) to be used by those working for them, rather than robotic procedure driven actions/responses that antagonise those interacting with those agencies and humiliate those who work there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Autonomous Civil Servants allowed to think for themselves and tell the truth?

    Now Ken that is erring towards Treason. Get thee to the Tower

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anon @; 23:18...

    Dare to "think for yourself" or "suggest better ways of doing things" as an HMRC employee and it's C&D procedures, the salt mines in Siberia or the Tower of London for you!!!

    HMRC is a testimony to "joined-up government", i.e. a partnership of the "thought police" and the "sphincter police"... it is no more than a glorified executive agency of the Borg Collective.

    ReplyDelete