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, 8 February 2013

NAO Report On HMRC's Cost Savings

"In 2011-12 HMRC maintained its performance while reducing staff and spending but it is too early to tell what the long-term impact of cost reduction will be."
That is the overriding conclusion of the National Audit Office (NAO) report published yesterday entitled "HM Revenue and Customs: Progress on reducing costs".

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said:
"In one year, HMRC has managed to deliver a third of the savings it is required to deliver over the four years of the spending period, at the same time as maintaining performance in key areas such as maintaining tax collection and reducing tax debt.

HMRC is moving from making tactical efficiency savings and quick wins towards a more strategic approach to managing its resources. We recognise the importance of this change and note that HMRC is addressing PAC and NAO recommendations in the process. The big challenge ahead will be to make more and deeper spending reductions without impairing its performance."
HMRC made £296 million of savings in 2011-12, exceeding its target by 19%:
  • It reduced staff numbers by 2,400 full-time equivalents and improved staff productivity, saving £140M.
  • The government froze pay increases for which HMRC had budgeted in 2011-12, saving £29M.
  • HMRC reduced the price it paid for IT equipment, such as laptops, and services, such as IT support helplines, by £74M.
  • HMRC vacated 118 buildings fully and 28 partially, reducing the size of its estate by 138,000 square metres and resulting in savings of £26.8M.
  • It reduced the cost of other contracts, such as those for postage and printing, by, for example, reducing the amount of unnecessary information HMRC sends to customers, saving around £26M.

HMRC needs to make new savings of £585M a year by 2014-15 as well as maintain those savings already made. At September 2012, HMRC was on track to exceed its 2012-13 cost reduction target by £29M. However, the reduction in planned savings being delivered by change projects means that HMRC needs to find £66M more savings than it originally planned through other initiatives. As at July 2012, HMRC had not fully worked out where these additional savings in 2013-14 and beyond would come from.

A spokesman for HMRC told the BBC:
"We are now taking a more strategic approach to managing our resources resulting in us answering phone calls faster and turning post around more quickly than ever before."
All fine and dandy, maybe.

However, I have a question on the subject of cost reduction for both HMRC and the NAO, why does HMRC pay £8 per lever arch file?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "It reduced the cost of other contracts, such as those for postage and printing, ... saving around £26M."

    But it hasn't saved much on lever arch files.

  2. Is he talking about the same HMRC???

    This is the same Amyas Morse:-
    He led the Coopers & Lybrand practice in Scotland, before moving to London to manage the London City Office, and subsequently becoming the Executive Partner of the Coopers & Lybrand UK firm. When PricewaterhouseCoopers was formed, he took on global responsibilities, and served as Global Leader of the Assurance Practice (audit and related services), and then as Global Managing Partner (Operations).

    Amyas joined the Ministry of Defence in July 2006 as the Defence Commercial Director. During his time as Commercial Director he was responsible for shaping the Department’s relationship with industry, and he played a key role in the agreement of strategic commercial arrangements. More widely across government, he served as a member of the Major Projects Review Group, the Public Sector Board of CIPS, and on an NHS Project Board.

    If one joins the dots, the common denominators become obvious, try it and see, then you will understand why the NAO under this man is a laughing stock among HMRC management, and others.

  3. I begin to see what you mean, he has been at the top of one of those morally defective organisations of beancounters and statistical manipulators who advise governments on offshore tax avoidance and its ethics, and then through a succession revolving door scenarios with wasteful public sector shining lights such as the MOD and the NHS.

  4. What's the difference between HMRC and watching a dreadful stage play?
    At least you know that no matter how bad the play there is an end to it and the curtain comes down!

    What's the connection between HMRC and a pelican?
    They can both stick their bills up their ar@e!

    Whats the connection between a beefburger and HMRC?
    They are both full of crap!

  5. Everyone needs a bit of humor at times...

    What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue. ~Thomas Paine

    The best things in life are duty free!

    HMRC lives off the VAT of the land!

    If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute. ~Thomas Paine

    What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1902

    The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.

    JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES, attributed, The Harvest of a Quiet Eye

    "I told the Inland Revenue I didn't owe them a penny because I lived near the seaside."
    - Funny Tax Quotes by Ken Dodd

  6. I wonder if Ken (Dodd) banks with HSBC?

  7. Among the pearls of wisdom related to lean & Toyota I found these:-

    "The right process will produce the right results"

    "Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes"

    "Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others"

    Now, for HMRC in particular, given the amount of time (money, taxpayers from) wasted so far, WTF have you been doing in there?!
    It hasn't worked for Toyota, and it sure as the sunrise ain't going to work for you. Remember IiP? That didn't work either, although the shareholders and top brass made a fortune.

    Wake up you dozy feckwits, collecting the revenue ain't like making a car!

  8. I looked around the edges of this Toyata "philosophy" to see what I could find in relation to the mess that is HMRC and found a number of relevant pieces;
    In her book The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse Marianne Jennings analyzes the indicators of possible ethical collapse in companies and provides advice how to avoid impending disaster. She starts with a description of ethical collapse saying it "occurs when any organization has drifted from the basic principles of right and wrong."
    "When an organization collapses ethically, it means that those in the organization have drifted into rationalizations and legalisms, and all for the purpose of getting the results they want and need at almost any cost."


    If HMRC is to get back to where it should be "A World Class Organisation" then it has an almost impossible task ahead. The organisation is so far from the basics of right and wrong it would not understand ethics if it were capable of recognizing them. Politcians need as a matter of urgency to deal with the issues, starting with the management framework - which obviously has failed.

  9. Whooah, holdon there just a cotton picking minute buster, are you suggesting taking this whole Japanese car thing and turning it around and throwing it back at them?
    Bit too radical isn't it?

  10. Exhibit A

    "Our customer strategy: our goal is to maximise tax revenues at the lowest overall cost to customers and ourselves, while stabilising and improving the experience that customers have when they deal with us".

    So, by paying £8/A4 ring binder whilst at the same time having been charging a fortune to listen to recorded messages has HMRC achieveits "customer strategy"?

    I think not!


  11. HMRC's creative accounting to arrive at these figures is similar to that used with a Cayman Islands Trust Fund.
    I think it is pushing financial statistics to the limit and then further to arrive at such figures when they are allegedly paying £8 a throw for ring binders.
    Still, no-one believes a word they say.