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.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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