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.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Qualified NAO Report II

The National Audit Office (NAO) have been busy of late wrt HMRC.

Not content with issuing a qualified report on the accounts of HMRC, they have also issued a report on HMRC's PaceSetter Programme.

"PaceSetter is travelling in the right direction but not fast enough. After five years HMRC's approach to process improvement should be better measured, more sophisticated and more ambitious in its transformation of the Department."

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 15 July 2011.

"We conclude, therefore, that the programme is not yet value for money."

NAO are of the view that PaceSetter is not yet value for money because the extent to which efficiency has improved is not clear; and some key principles of process improvement are not yet being applied strategically across the entire organisation and embedded into the Department's core processes.

For reasons best known to HMRC, it decided to monitor only certain of the costs involved, and excluded, for example, the salary costs of its own PaceSetter experts.

Why does a financially literate organisation only monitor certain costs (ie do things at half cock)?

NAO estimate that thus far (since 2005) PaceSetter has cost at least £115M on consultancy, equipment, staff and travel costs.

The report notes that evidence that is available on overall business performance shows improvements and deterioration. In other words, given the ongoing restructuring within HMRC, PaceSetter is not necessarily having any discernible effect (be it good or bad) other than costing the taxpayers £115M.

The effect on staff engagement is "bugger all".

"The Department’s employee engagement index, derived from its 2009 People Survey, was 36 per cent, compared to an average of 58 per cent across other government departments. The analysis for areas where PaceSetter has been introduced gave an index of 37‑40 per cent."


- Why did HMRC go for PaceSetter in the first place?

- Why does the senior management team continue to support PaceSetter?

- How reliable are the internal statistics provided by middle management to senior management? etc

Feel free to comment.

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  1. Pacesetter has had an effect, it has been counterproductive to the relationships between staff and management with effects being poorer systems and customer service.

    The NAO are using gerrymandered, and therefore inaccurate, figures which doesn't add to the accuracy or credibility of their report.

  2. "PaceSetter is travelling in the right direction".

    Who are these people.

    Do they have any idea whats its like inside that nuthouse.

    £115 million on external consultancy. (and some them never bothered staying).

    The dickheads never even had the manners to ask people who worked for Customs and Excise/ Inland Revenue for years regarding consultation on the way forward.

  3. I have now been pace settered. I submit daily, fictional stats to my manager, who then massages them, and passes them on to his manager, who is too bone idle to do anything to them, but passes them on, unadulterated to his manager, who is constantly searching for ways to " improve " these same stats. At no point does anyone give a flying feck about the sort of job that is done, the kind of service that is offered. Any attempt to question this charade is met with hostility, and censure for negativity. All these stats, by the way, duplicate, in every way, stats produced by another one of our IT systems. My " business area" is literally stumbling from one crisis to another, totally reactive, demoralised,confused. Staff engagement? What do YOU reckon.

  4. £115M indeed!!! I look around our office and I am sure every single penny piece of the £115M spend has been carefully invested in the department's Transformation Programme... transforming it from broadly functional to abject dysfunctionality.

  5. Anon @ 15:38...

    You have described to a tee our "business area" which is nothing short of a chaotic mess with staff bullied into submission by jackbooted thugs purporting to be managers armed with the latest must-have spreadsheets.

  6. Work comes in electronically from the "customer", it is then recorded and given a urn and then the printing starts, everything required to be looked at or abstracted from is printed, then worked upon, then the data is input again (yes, thats data already held) and manipulated and printed again, albeit differently this time and eventually electronically submitted to the customer, where required.
    Eventually all the printed effluvium is shredded.
    Process map this if you can, it is the asylum gone totally nuts FFS! Not to mention what it is doing for the rain forest, and LOL, HMRC is going to organise the rest of the Swivel Service WRT paper useage and recycling LOL!
    It begs the question, never mind £115m on pacesetter, what about the IT systems being used as glorified printers or copying machines.
    And its all our money being wasted.

  7. Statistics and graphs = bollocks and shite.
    Thats worth £115m of anybodys money

  8. There's lies, damned lies and Pacesetter!

  9. Do you know what Guv?
    Now that the top of the Met. has crumbled, it is possible that HMRC may yet get purged and that would be interesting for many!
    " Abuses of Power", "Undue Influence" (heard that before somewhere?) and Nepotism.
    My word a week is a long time in Politics.

  10. I thought I would look up nepotism, I'm glad I did as it includes favouritism shown to friends in work.
    The glimmer brightens.
    Truth will out.
    It always does.
    You know it makes sense, even if it is taxing at the moment.
    20:59 makes a good point, perhaps there is more than just a shiver about it all?

  11. This is what comes of adopting the practices of the private sector into government departments.

  12. Rubbish. It has nothing to do with the private sector. It's what happens when you use a fork to eat soup. It's the wrong tool for the job.

  13. Another full and wholehearted agreement to the comments of Anon @ 15:38..., especially “at no point does anyone give a flying feck about the sort of job that is done, the kind of service that is offered. Any attempt to question this charade is met with hostility, and censure for negativity”.

    This ‘censure for negativity' is exactly what’s happening to me at the moment (by one of their “jackbooted thugs”. What happened to listening to the staff that actually do the work?

    Bollocks all, that’s what happened.

  14. The average AO could have told you that for free.

    Or rather, the AO with 10 years experience could have spent 10 seconds grumbling about it at work. At £9.47p/h they could have told you that for 2p!

    When that person goes in for the one-to-one with their manager. Their non compliance with pacesetter values because their manager overheard them will be discussed. Let's say that's 15 minutes or £2.36 AO time wasted already.

    The managers time 15 mins spent in this discussion (average salary 23K = £2.98 for 15 mins of their time)

    So. For an HMRC person to disagree with Pacesetter costs about £4.50 per occasion.

    Genius! Glad I have a clear conscience never voted for any of this. My vote went to none of the primary colours.

  15. Lean in HMRC has been promoted by Unipart who are in the Guardian this week wanting to do the same for the NHS.

  16. @23 July 2011 09:30

    Excellent, that'll be an excuse for the Condems to get rid of the NHS for sure.

    They are already restricting the NHS budget and no doubt Cameron will say they are over budget (yes because you cut it you tw4t) and should be handled privately.

    God help you when you can't handle the pressure of HMRC tax assessment/debt collection being run by a private company as you'll have to probably go to the same private company (because your GP is employed by them) with corporate interests to assess your medical needs.

  17. Dear god!! if Unipart are involved in the NHS it is definitely a time to be taking out private cover!!
    They can't even keep their own businesses profitable! They just sold off (Sold meaning actually wrote of debt and then sold) the controlling stake in their own business

    I am an ex-employee (Thank god) for a little over 10 years of a company where the Unipart Way is only used in sales presentations and senior management viewed it as an obstacle to getting things done then what hope does the NHS have? Even the mighty John M Neill once said "forget the Unipart Way, I just want it done!"