Tuesday 28 January 2014

A Steady Ship?

The recently published results of HMRC's 2013 Autumn staff survey have prompted AccountancyAge to declare that the "HMRC ship is steadying".

Almost every area yielded improved results, and an overall improvement on 2012.

In each metric on leadership and managing change, the proportion giving positive responses rose significantly; although they remain down on the rest of the civil service.

Well then, has the ship steadied does this show that things are getting better?

Bunkum and balderdash!

In the 2012 the response rate was 60%, the 2013 survey had a pathetic response rate of 43% (ie 57% of HMRC staff did not bother filling in the survey, indeed PCS told people not to fill it in because members do not trust what HMRC will use the data for).

That is hardly indicative of a happy and contented workforce.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Survey reports and the statistics that they produce depend on a variety of factors.

    it has been reported that the response rate was 43%, statistically that is one of the lowest response rates and speaks volumes. HMRC probably know the identities of those submitting responses if they did indeed use a unique identifier code for each respondant...?

    Those completing the survey are most likely to be from management grades and or those likely to retain their employment, if this contention is correct it makes the 43% statistic look even worse.

    Taking all statistics as possibly skewed when examining HMRC data it naturally follows that the apparent, statistically proven, turnaround in joyous accolades by staff in response to biased questions would present the responses and statistics that the survey has.

    Examine the survey results carefully and ask how in the light of the obvious problems within HMRC with stress, long and short term future job security and effective pay cuts over the recent years these figures have been obtained. look carefully at the wording of the questions and the choices available to answer them.

    Now ask yourselves are the survey results credible and why so long to produce them?

  2. The results are fixed in my opinion. I think Lin Homer just wants her bonus from this survey results and for closing down offices with 2 floors or less. But that is just my opinion............

  3. There are lies, damned lies and then there are HMRC "statistics".

  4. Ken,

    You and your readers may find the attached link interesting...


    Read it twice, carefully, as ever, the devil is in the detail, WTF were HMRC doing before they sent someone to Guernsey (Tax Avoidance Haven?} and why was it necessary to send someone there when their own staff, unions and staff surveys ad nausea been telling them the same things.

    Homer has been "reassuring" anyone daft enough to listen to her that the HMRC systems were resilient, complied with legislation and the best interests of staff were being served.

    That's treble bollo@&s and they know it. There are some interesting facts emerging from the Dundee Employment Tribunals that will cause some intake of breath when they are connected to figures like the 17,000 Welsh HMRC staff days lost to stress in the last 3 years or the 1,300 plus tribunal cases brought to tribunal by staff in the last six years.

    Come on Ken, get your readers to play "join the dot"s, its even more productive than "managers bullshit bingo"!

  5. Selective amnesia and hypocrisy go hand in hand with many other 'attributes' allied to HMRC.
    Do the sheeple forget that when the staff survey figures, engagement index and response rates were similarly in the mid to low 40% range how HMRC trumpeted that it was not a true reflection of reality within HMRC etc. etc.!
    Well that claim works both ways - unless of course, HMRC employees and the PCS are sleepwalking into the 'end game' and privatisation of the best bits...
    Find it difficult to believe that there is not more angst out there, but few people in HMRC have the balls to speak up, save for those fighting their way through to Tribunal or those illegal gagging clauses associated with out of court settlements that the PCS is perfectly aware of.