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, 2 June 2011

Trouble At Mill

My thanks to a loyal reader who alerted me to the fact that the PCS has stirred into "life".

Apparently there will be some form of "industrial action" (PCS rather over hypes it by calling it a "strike") next week.

I am old enough to remember when "strike" really meant strike. Anyhoo, the text of the "strike" announcement is presented at the end of this article.

You know folks (HMRC staff), if you really want to scare the shit out of ExComm et al and actually achive something positive you need to ensure that you all complete the next staff survey (due in around 5 months) with absolute honesty (ie don't allow yourselves to be leaned on, or bullied, to present a positive picture).

The Grande Dame is 2 years into her 5 year deadline of turning things around. The fact that she hasn't yet achieved anything positive, and the fact that she has swiftly (in a matter of months - that's fast by HMRC standards) taken away management control of the follow up to the last survey (and placed it with the Directorate) indicates that she is shit scared.

I would also suggest that if there are concerns within staff ranks that those who complete the survey are being bullied into painting a rosy picture, or if there is evidence that results are being manipulated by management to present a positive picture and to pretend that targets are being met, then the survey should be taken out of the hands of HMRC and (as already suggested by one loyal reader) placed in the hands of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC); this body has a remit to investigate HMRC.

BTW, re the "strike", what exactly does refusing to "cut corners" actually mean?

Revenue workers strike over sick scheme

1 June 2011

More than 50,000 tax office workers will be taking strike action next week in protest at a punitive new sickness absence policy.
On Tuesday 7 June there will be a walkout from Revenue and Customs between 4pm and 5pm.

On Wednesday 8 June PCS members will go to work together at 10am and take a mass extended lunch break between 11.30am and 1.30pm.

From 4pm on 7 June union members in the department will also be refusing to work overtime, use private cars for work, or ‘cut corners’.

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  1. Probably help if the survey was anonymous as well.

  2. Its action Ken short of a strike, which will include a flexi strike.
    This means as follows:
    7th June no cover between 4pm to 5pm
    8th June no cover till 10 am and between 11.30 & 13.30.

    So dont try ringing between these hours !.

    And for once there is a real reason why customers cant contact HMRC.

    This wont affect me as I`m off sick.

  3. Thanks PCS no one has told our office first we knew was an hour ago from Lesley Straithie.

  4. "Thanks PCS no one has told our office first we knew was an hour ago from Lesley Straithie."

    Engagement is getting better then!!!!

  5. Walkout between 4 and 5.
    Extennded lunch break
    From 4 on, no overtime?

    Hardly hardcore action is it?

    And the brownoses will be itching to step into the breech anyway for the Glorious one 0 three to conteract this assault by the PCS.

  6. Pathetic Cowardly Sycophants. This "union" is a joke, the local reps socialise with the mismanagement and collude accordingly. The staff should go on strike for two full days to make a proper, national impact but the PCS are too "on side" with HMRC to suggest it.

    It's a farce!

  7. We asked a union rep this afternoon why we were not told and he said "it's on PCS site" yes like we all sit avidly reading their website every minute we get.

    How can we take the union seriously when it's members are officially told from Straithie.

  8. Thankyou Ken for opening our eyes to the PCS situation.
    It has long been felt that some of those in positions of influence i.e. AGS and above had a far too cosy relationship with Excom & Co. which may or may not end in promotion - disbelievers can do their own research.
    Then there is the question of the PCS solicitors adopting the CPS mentality towards alledged wrongdoings.
    It makes you wonder WTF the monthly subs are for, oh, yes, a new HQ! And how much has/will that cost? Enough for your subs to need to go up 50% that's what!
    Yep, time to have an investigation, not an inquiry and get the TUC in there as well to have a look at things while HMIC do their job unemcumbered by interference or undue influence.
    And sceptics, don't waste your breath or my time querying the obvious go and enrol on summer skool or do another project!

  9. Anyone thought to ask the obvious question?

    Why are the 103rd the worst Government Department?

    Might it be associated with the way the staff of both previous depertments have been treated for so long and continue to be treated in HMRC?

    The staff have a golden opportunity to do something at long last with the "customer" seeing it as it is. And the news is currently speaking of public sector pay having been frozen from April. The "customers" are not enjoying their "customer centric experience" and Pacesetter is being shown up for the gross waste of money that it is.
    BTW, anyone notice the connection between UKBA and HMRC, yep, the UKBA management has a large proportion of ex. HMRC, ex. HM C&E dinosaur managers in it as well!
    Even with UKBA now stated as being unfit for purpose, it could be worse, they could have remained as managers in HMRC with the other dinosaurs!

  10. Bring on the clowns!

  11. Todays message from LGD states clearly HMRC has the highest levels of sickness absence of all government departments.

    The average of 10.2 working days lost per person compares to an average of 8.5 across the civil service.
    (Is there a difference between govt. depts. and civil service? Very probably if it improves the dismal figures - nah, wouldn't manipulate that surely!)

    Anyroads, obviously this demands a question which LGD omits to ask i.e. Why so bad?
    Perhaps a bit of clarity from HMRC's own absence recording would throw some light on the issue.

    That would be a good question to put at your next Pacesetter meeting eh?!

    Perhaps there should be a sweepstake in HMRC with the proceeds going to the Civil Service Fund or similar.

    Coupled with LGD statement Mike Falvey (the Chief People Officer) love their titles don't they?, states "The two areas where we have agreed to clarify our guidance to help ensure a coherent and reasonable approach to managing attendance and promoting wellbeing are:
    medical and dental appts - managers should use discretion in applying the attendance magmt. procedures and policy...The agreed approach on appointments applies immediately and will be included in the guidance asap
    other points go on to state:-
    ...ensure a consistent approach in line with procedures and sharing best pracice...
    ...identifying the learning managers need so they can manage absence effectively both in terms of using the guidance and developing their people skills...
    I hope this explains what we are doing to make sure we have procedures which support a consistent balanced and fair approach....

    Now, the astute amongst Ken's readers will possibly already have considered the following:-

    Do the foregoing indicate that HMRC has some serious questions to answer:-
    a) repeat - WHY SO BAD?
    b)...again to repeat WHAT CAUSES?
    e) WERE MANAGERS FAILING TO USE DISCRETION? stupid cnuts should have used Pacesetter methodology for once!

    Who the fuck is responsible for this state of affairs, no wonder they are in the mess they are in with the staff as demoralised and demotivated as they appear to be.

  12. "Not cutting corners" essentially means following call type processes to the exact letter. So, if for example someone calls to claim a repayment, rather than deal with it in a quick and efficient way (i.e asking the pertinent questions, doing my best to do make sure the repayment is issued), I will instead follow the full 31 page call type process, asking the 25+ superfluous questions and generally being a pain in the arse.

  13. "Not cutting corners" otherwise known as working to rule?
    Well under the current regime there is no allowance for using your initiative, it must be done thus, and thus it will be done.
    Some of the practices currently in use would make a sinner cringe and anyone with a conscience may as well feck off!

  14. Trouble at mill - oh dearie me, but never mind, the Dame is not for turning, she and her cohorts at ExCom continue to be in denial of the bleedin' obvious.

    Come back Guy Fawkes, all is forgiven!!!

  15. I'm not convinced that denial is at the fore, something is occurring that is causing a hiatus from top down.
    It's the cause that eludes the majority of posters on this site.
    It could all boil down to a great big finger pointing exercise with management falling over each other to avoid blame.
    Bet the whiteboards and Pacesetter take the majority of the blame!
    I can just hear the management toadies now, "I was only following orders..."
    You bunch of spineless toads! None of you with the courage to say it as it is, power crazed megalomaniacs bereft of responsibility enslaved to the Vision and Toyotas lean principles, its the civil service FFS not a car factory!

  16. Idiots

    Not only will there be a mass walk out on Tuesday between 4pm and 5pm, there'll also be one on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    It's called flexi time and going home!

    Though usually in our office it's a run out NOT a walk out

  17. Staff at HMRC are going to take a few more hours off.
    Will anyone notice?

  18. My office has flexi-time with a roster to cover a variety of things including cleaning a kitchen, FFS, what are we paying Mapeley for?!
    You are right, no one will pay much attention.
    PCS, fuckwits, as bad as the management.
    What are you doing with the union subs you useless cretins?

  19. Ken

    How did you know how quickly the bosses in ExCom decided to react to the disastrous results of the last survey?

    You are right, results came out in Jan 2011 so their reaction was flippin speedy. But how the hell did you figure it out?

    I have it on good authority that the leadership programme is indeed aimed at improving local management, but I only found out this afternoon from a pub lunch with someone who was on the course. Now the surprising thing is that the task of these people is not fleshed out and there is no central message on intranet.

    If you have a mole in the Directorate, then be careful, this news was not well known nor advertised.

  20. "If you have a mole in the Directorate, then be careful, this news was not well known nor advertised."

    Did you not know that HMRC is also known as "The Leaking Boot" by outsiders?

  21. June 2nd 22:06

    The management toadies in their blissful ignorance are patently not aware that the "I was only following orders" excuse has not been acceptable in UK Law and International Law since 1948. Bless them they will be greatly shocked when they find themselves being held to account'
    (Now wait for references to naziism being outlawed as an arguement on The internet)