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.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

HMRC Moving With The Times

Despite HMRC's management of the Aspire project being "unacceptably poor", I am pleased to see that not everything in the HMRC IT garden is withering on the vine.

A loyal reader writes:
"We're getting up to date, moving on to the "new windows" - yes, that's the windows 7 that was released in 2009!!!"
That's the spirit!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. TBF, this is normal practice in many places. When Microsoft change Windows they have a habit of just tweaking things which bollixes up systems. Some people are still sticking with Windows 2000 for that reason ; it works. Anyone with MS experience knows when you 'upgrade' compatibility is very often an issue.

    1. A fair point - but I thought it was a bit rich trumpeting something as "new" when it has been out for five years and is already superceded by a newer system!

  2. To have aspirations to be a world class organisation a good start would be to have some world class leadership?
    In the big bad world of commerce real managers have the ability to negotiate and project manage huge contracts. It has been said before that this lot would have difficulty managing a booze-up in a brewery!
    IT effectiveness and HMRC do not make good bed fellows, and when you factor in the one thing advantage that it has i.e. it does not have to fund from its own money rather the taxpayers hard earned contributions to the public purse you may begin to understand the somewhat Cavalier approach exhibited by HMRC management.
    Missing throughout are any traces of accountability, ability or business acumen, the department is overmanaged at the workface, overlayered with management and process and constantly playing catch-up.
    All this is made worse by them constantly claiming things are better than they are, e.g. the claim that the 2011 agreement with the Swiss was predicted to raise £4bn to £7bn but HMRC having to admit to Treasury select committee that the true figure is now estimated to be £1.7bn with less than half in the bank so far! (Private Eye issue 1373, p.9).

  3. Microsoft offer Government employees their Office package at £8.95 as part of the contracts they have with the Civil Service. However, HMRC decide that employees should not receive this-no real reason why though.
    So, rather that try it out at home to get used to it, I will have to spend time going through tutorials in work time when I am very busy with work. Brilliant.

  4. People find the best person on the team with good IT skills, this individual, as a favour, no benefit in kind, then completes each individuals CBT training package for them. This has evolved over the years as HMRC dropped face-to-face traing for CBT. Many people find CBT atrocious as a blanket method of learning for a variety of reasons, not least of which it does not suit everybody as a learning aid for every content delivery. Add to this the compulsion involved just to tick a box on some "managers" "Performance" agreement that is linked to reward and you begin to see why the staff stick the finger to the system.
    I have seen it done on a number of occasions and do not blame those that participate whatsoever, it gives overworked badly treated staff the opportunity to be one up on the wankers and the system itself and proves that human beings can always beat the robots when it comes to guile. Management cannot control the practice although no doubt will punish the odd miscreants if ever caught in an attempt to stop things - no chance, "Power to the People" as Wolfie Smith used to cry, "Long live The Popular Front for Tooting!".
    Join The Whiteboard Liberation Army before its too late, help subvert The Common Purpose Agenda along with Eric Pickles of all people, attend every hub feigning interest and understanding, participating with ownership and ideas, play them at their own game and quietly laugh as you see how unsettled they become when everything "appears" to be going to plan, let them know of the success but keep the pending failures quiet and let the idiots fall flat on their collective faces.
    If you look carefully at these managers, you begin to see a pattern, read it and learn that it mirrors itself with an evangelical zeal and belief combined with a no dissent approach. Its all tosh and hides inability and lack of moral fibre while attempting to present a united front.
    Keep up the good work and get the members of Dissent to wake up again, although I suspect one or two are posting on a blog near you...

  5. It is difficult to find people willing to become trainers, or facilitators as I believe they are referred to in these PC days. There is no incentive and many of the very good trainers of the past have retired or left for the outside world where ability is rewarded.
    As for CBT in HMRC, it is a joke, some of it pitched at such a low level you wonder what the entrance standards are these days. Training Units are unlikely to see the light of day again and are consigned to history along with the PMU's. If you dehumanise the staff you end up with the current situation, no future.