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, 7 May 2013

Gauke's Smoking Gun


My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed me to another update on the Osita Mba debacle.

The Guardian reports that based on emails that it has seen, David Gauke seemingly approved a plan to brief a journalist with information to help discredit testimony from HMRC whistleblower Osita Mba.

The leaked emails were sent on 15 December 2011 by a senior figure in HMRC's media department to Gauke's private secretary, Oliver Haydon. The emails claimed that the imminent public accounts committee report would be highly critical of Hartnett, HMRC and the Goldman Sachs deal.

In one email, the HMRC executive wrote to Gauke's secretary saying there was a need for Mba's evidence to be challenged:
"The belief that Mr Mba has genuine and deep knowledge of the Voda [Vodafone] and GS [Goldman Sachs] settlements is growing when in fact the picture he presents is partial, incomplete and flawed.

Much of the PAC [public accounts committee] report on large business settlements is likely to be based on his submissions and we feel this must be challenged if HMRC's reputation is not to suffer very serious damage.

We propose to do this by having Dave Hartnett brief [a named Financial Times journalist] – on the record – with a view to a Saturday/Monday story. We would welcome your views."

Haydon responded:
"Thx — I've relayed to XST [Gauke] whose initial reaction was positive. I'll confirm when I speak to him in the next hour or so."
Sadly there is nothing new in politicians using (directly or indirectly) the media to undermine the reputation of individuals and to manipulate the opinions of those involved in reviews/investigations. It is though particularly troubling when parts of the civil service encourage the politicians to adopt such a strategy.


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5 comments:

  1. What an absolute mess it all becomes when the protagonists are caught with their pants down.
    Even worse for those that might care are the suggestions that if this is what the "managers" at the top are doing, then the mess further down must be worse than a farmyard overdue for mucking out.
    Perhaps people will now begin to understand how badly they have been treating their staff never mind other tax payers!
    Message to Cameron - get the IPCC in there and HMIC while you are at it. Once the doors are opened the skeletons will tumble out.

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  2. Routine practice in Whitehall and especially in HMRC where they don't have to go to the Police to invoke criminal powers.

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  3. In other news ...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/07/hmrc-help-ethiopia-tanzania-taxes
    ‘HMRC to help Ethiopia and Tanzania collect taxes’
    Gauke said: "This government is committed to building capacity within the governments of developing countries so that they can make changes that will have long-term benefits.
    "One crucial part of this is providing expertise in tax collection. Through these projects we will work with the Tanzanian and Ethiopian governments to put in place more effective tax administration and collect the tax which they are owed."

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  4. HMRC tried do this when the infamous discs went missing. They were ready to name a junior clerk for this and name them. If the PCS union had not intervened to protect the totally innocent person they would have become a media joke. Shame on HMRC


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    Replies
    1. The cracks are certainly getting bigger and more numerous.
      There will come a point when no matter what lies, denials or "excuses" are being promulgated by HMRC and the likes of Gauke, the inevitable will happen, nothing, there will be a cover-up or enquiry as these things are referred to.
      The Osita Mba case may yet be the catalyst, but where are the likes of "Liberty" when you need them?
      Is there a "Common Purpose" to any of this?

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