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, 25 March 2014

Whistleblowing - Osita Mba Attends PAC


Osita Mba (ex HMRC Solicitor) attended yesterday's PAC hearing on Whistleblwoing.

Witnesses

  1. Kay Sheldon, Care Quality Commission, Cathy James, Chief Executive, Public Concern at Work, and Osita Mba, former HMRC employee
  2. Lin Homer, Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, HM Revenue and Customs, Jonathan Slater, Director General Transformation and Corporate Strategy, Ministry of Defence, Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education, and Charlie Massey, Director General, Strategy and External Relations, Department of Health
Lin Homer had told the public accounts committee that phone records had been obtained using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to unearth information about Osita Mba.

Margaret Hodge said that HMRC's use of the anti terrorism powers, ostensibly to track down whether Mba had been talking to the Guardian's then investigations editor, David Leigh, had "shocked her to her bones".

Hodge told Homer she was particularly surprised "that you made a request under Ripa, which is there to deal with terrorism". She asked for assurances that HMRC would "never again use these powers on a whistleblower".

Homer of course wouldn't give such an assurance, as per the Guardian:
"You know that we cannot offer carte blanche assurances for evermore that we won't use these … I have other duties of care to parliament and other individuals."
Power corrupts, the more power given the HMRC the more liukely it is that it will be corrupted.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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7 comments:

  1. If Margaret Hodge is " shocked to her bones " and " paticularly surprised " by these revelations I can't wait till she gets her teeth into allegations of civil and criminal lawbreaking as laid before her via MP.
    This could get interesting given the fluke of timing presented by Osita's appearance before the PAC.

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  2. What about the Dundee Employment Tribunals?
    It's almost like politicians are blind to the obvious herd of elephants residing in the corner of the hovel that is HMRC while successive heads of the Dept. fiddle while Rome burns.
    Needs an in depth open enquiry to sort out the mess within.

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  3. Where is Osita Mba's evidence to this PAC meeting?

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  4. He was thrust into the media spotlight and his life became hell. I would have every sympathy if he decided not to attend, especially when he would have been in the same room as HMRC's CEO

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  5. RIPA is emphatically NOT just about terrorism. Anyone who says that is ignorant and cannot be taken seriously. RIPA is what it says on the tin.

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  6. And should be used only where necessary, proportional, not disproportionate or arbitrary. No activity should be considered proportionate if the information which is sought could be reasonably obtained by other less intrusive means.
    Considering whether the activity is an appropriate use of the legislation and a reasonable way, having considered all reasonable alternatives, of obtaining the necessary result.
    Rumpole of of The Bailey might suggest that the use of RIPA powers against Osita Mba to have been the use of a sledgehammer to cracking a nut,the PAC certainly did.
    Anyone who says different is ignorant and cannot be taken seriously, RIPA most certainly is what it says on the tin despite what HMRC may want to believe.

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