My thanks to a loyal reader who forwarded me the following message sent to HMRC staff from Dorothy Brown Interim Chief People Officer (oddly enough in 2013 she was Chief People Officer, why now is she only "Interim"?).
Her message contains one minor glitch, in the second paragraph she doesn't use a capital "F" in the "Building our Future" phrase.
That's definitely off message!
"Personal Tax Operations
Building our Future in PT Operations – the next steps
17 July 2014
Now that the first wave of Building our Future events has taken place in PT Operations I wanted to write and give you an update on what’s happening next with all the feedback you’ve given us.
Building our future, HMRC’s national conversation about the future of our department has been taking place in PT Operations for nearly six weeks now. You’ll remember that because July is the busiest time of the year for our helplines I asked for the roll-out of these events to be brought forward so that as many people as possible were able to attend an event before the end of June. So far we’ve run over 60 sessions for around 7,000 of our people. This is a great achievement and everyone else will have an opportunity to attend an event by the mid-August.
The first thing I want to say is a huge thank you to everyone for bringing such lively enthusiasm, passion and debate to the conversation. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of events and your commitment and dedication to do the best for our customers and your desire to be involved in the way we transform HMRC really shone through.
The feedback from the events has been phenomenal – and a number of similar issues keep coming-up again and again. You are rightly interested in what a move to regional centres will mean, how new digital tools will impact on our work, and about career opportunities, training and communications.
While Building our Future is a going to be an ongoing conversation, I don’t want us to delay in addressing the areas when we can do something now:
Training – has been a big issue at every single event and you’ve told us that there should be a better balance between online learning and face-to-face training when changes are introduced.
I want us to work with you to look at how future learning is managed. As a first step, and in response to your concerns, training to support the introduction of digitised mail will now be delivered face-to-face instead of using e-learning.
IT and security – has been another major talking point and you’ve expressed concerns that our systems aren’t fit for purpose. Our people in Dundee told me about some real issues that were affecting their work. To try and address these problems I have arranged for a team from the Chief Digital and Information Officer’s (CDIO) area to go and spend some time with our front-line staff to see the problems caused by unreliable IT kit.
Office environment – you’ve told us that the condition and cleanliness of your offices often leaves a lot to be desired. In particular colleagues in Manchester expressed real concerns about the maintenance of their building. I have directly approached the Director of Estates and Support Services (ESS) about fixing these problems and I’m pleased to report that a new cleaning programme in Manchester has now been implemented.
These might seem like small issues, but I want you to know that we are committed to addressing immediate issues where we can. We are collating all of the written feedback from your sessions and will analyse this in detail.
The first phase of Building our Future is nearly complete, and a second wave of events will start in October. Many of you have told me that you are still reserving judgement and will be waiting to see what happens next. I want you to know that I will be striving to keep up the momentum and to demonstrate our commitment to this two-way conversation. I’m meeting with my senior leadership team on 11 August to look at more of your feedback and to discuss the next steps. Following this meeting you can expect to see regular communication from us on the progress we are making with Building our Future in PT Operations.
Given that she is now only "Interim", HMRC staff may choose to take what she says with a pinch of salt.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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