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.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

HMRC's New Laid Back Approach - Welcome Edward Troup

HMRC have announced the appointment of Edward Troup as the new Tax Assurance Commissioner (to take over from Dave Hartnett), and Ian Barlow as the Lead Non-Executive Director to succeed Mike Clasper.

The official statement from HMRC is as follows:
"HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced the appointment of a Tax Assurance Commissioner and a Lead Non-Executive Director, as part of its new governance arrangements.
Edward Troup, currently HM Treasury’s Director General for Tax and Welfare, has been appointed Tax Assurance Commissioner and second Permanent Secretary at HMRC. He will be responsible for shaping tax policy and strategy, tax professionalism, and will oversee and provide assurance of large tax settlements. Reporting directly to Chief Executive Lin Homer, Mr Troup will succeed Dave Hartnett, who is retiring on 31 July, and will sit on HMRC’s Executive Committee. Mr Troup will take up his post in August.

Ian Barlow, currently Chair of WSP Group plc, has also been appointed as the Lead Non-Executive Director, in succession to Mike Clasper, whose contract is coming to an end.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke MP, said: "I am delighted to welcome Edward and Ian to these appointments. They both bring specialist tax knowledge and an understanding of how HMRC operates. Their wide experience will add depth and breadth to HMRC’s leadership at both Executive and Board level."

Chief Executive Lin Homer said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Edward Troup to this substantial and challenging role. HMRC will greatly benefit from his considerable tax knowledge and legal expertise, and he will play a critical role in providing rigour and challenge within HMRC, in order to ensure the transparency and integrity of the UK tax system.”

She added: “I am also very pleased that Ian Barlow has accepted the role of Lead Non-Executive Director at HMRC. This is an important governance role, chairing the Board and providing supportive challenge to the Executive Committee in developing and delivering HMRC’s vision and strategy, and ensuring HMRC delivers its performance and customer service objectives.”

Edward Troup said: “HMRC is an organisation with a great tradition. I look forward to joining Lin Homer’s senior management team and continuing with the department’s transformation into a modern and professional tax administration.

”I want to ensure that HMRC’s well-deserved pride in its achievements and its high standards are properly reflected in public confidence that all taxpayers, large or small, are being treated fairly.“

Ian Barlow said: “I am looking forward to building on the strategic vision developed by HMRC and Mike Clasper, and to supporting HMRC to meet its multiple objectives, including its obligations to its customers and stakeholders. The role of the Non-Executives is to be critical friends, both advising and encouraging HMRC’s Executive in its delivery and holding it to account for its actions.”

Notes to editors1. Edward Troup began his career as a tax lawyer, working with law firm Simmons & Simmons, until joining HM Treasury as a special adviser on tax, between 1995 and 1997. Edward returned to Simmons & Simmons in 1997, before rejoining the Treasury in 2004 as Director of Business and Indirect Tax.

2. Ian Barlow has held a wide range of appointments in the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. He is currently Chair of WSP Group plc and Director at Smith and Nephew and at the Brunner Investment Trust. He was recently appointed a Non-Executive Director at HMRC.

3. The Lead Non-Executive Director replaces the role of the Chairman, in accordance with the Code of Good Practice introduced by the Government in 2011.

4. The Tax Assurance Commissioner was appointed using Civil Service Commissioner Recruitment Principles and the Lead Non-Executive was appointed following a full Public Appointments Process."
I cannot but help making a wee smile to myself when reading Lin Homer's fulsome praise of Troup, given her somewhat rocky relationship with Margaret Hodge and PAC.

For why?

Only last November Hodge accused Troup of being "laid back", as per the BBC:
"MPs on the Public Accounts Committee clashed with top civil servants over the value-for-money of increasing the amount of benefits that are means-tested.

The hearing on 2 November 2011 followed the publication of a report by the National Audit Office that said that the government needed to have a greater understanding of the impact of means-testing.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge accused Edward Troup from the Treasury of having a "laid back" approach to his department's role in the distribution of benefit, a stance denied by Mr Troup."
Barlow also seems to be an interesting appointment he is, amongst others, Chairman of WSP a global design engineering and management consultancy specialising in Property, Transport & Infrastructure, Industry and Environment projects. 

However, Barlow has many other strings to his bow, as per LinkedIn he is also:

Non Executive Director
Public Company; 5001-10,000 employees; SNN; Medical Devices industry
March 2010Present (2 years 5 months) Strand, London
European based medical devices group
November 2009Present (2 years 9 months) City of London
Global growth investment trust
July 2009Present (3 years 1 month) Ascot racecourse
The trade body for Britain's racecourses
August 2008Present (4 years) Victoria, London
NDPD that administers Horserace betting levy
Nonprofit; 501-1000 employees; Museums and Institutions industry
July 2008Present (4 years 1 month) Hampton Court Palace,
Charity that looks after the five unoccupied Royal Palaces in London
July 2008Present (4 years 1 month) Victoria, London
Helps British companies do business in and with China.
June 2008Present (4 years 2 months) Victoria, London
Non executive director, Chairman, Audit Committee

Gosh, with so many hats to wear I wonder how he will find the time to work for HMRC?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. There are so many resignations, "retirements" and empty boot fillings going on, never mind revolving doors, its more akin to the magic bloody roundabout hit by an exocet!
    There's trouble looming on the horizon and changing the batting line up wont make a difference.

    1. Heard there might be more than a few vacancies on the Boards of numerous banks and other financial institutions in the near future.
      BTW anyone know if the banks use Pacesetter, they have got call centres and real customers as well?

    2. surely with all those Directorships there's got to be a conflict of interest somewhere?

    3. Q. without any directorships and conflict of interests, what do you get?
      A. A person with little insight and no experience, the types the hmrc would do better without.
      I would rather trust the tax system to someone with real world experience (and lots of "interests") than the usual civil servants who are "bought into" the ridiculous UK tax system, or even worse, come from a benefits dept. background where they were inclined (not without cause in many instances) to be suspicious and prescriptive.

  2. Strange that Barlow hasn't any longer involvement in a company than 4 years 2 months. Long term commitment issues?

    Expect him to leave by September 2016, then.... save this prediction and call me Nostradamus!