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.

Friday, 11 July 2014

HMRC's 2020 Vision - Building Our Future

My thanks to a loyal reader, who dropped me a wee note about a series of HMRC events entitled "Building Our Future".

Seemingly staff in one of HMRC's London offices have received an email invite to one of the events, which is being held at Chelsea Football Club.

Some staff have already attended an earlier event, and the feedback is not promising. In short staff are being told by HMRC management at the events that they either accept HMRC's vision for 2020 and beyond, or basically "bugger off".

Additionally, so I understand, during the event the closure of all of HMRC's London offices is raised, in the hope and advent of a digital future.

I would be very interested to hear more about "Building Our Future", if anyone has the courage to raise their heads above the trenches.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Basically unless you work in a large town or city your stuffed for a job, because thats where the offices will be.

  2. Wonder if the "evangelistas" of the Lean/Pacesetter are giving out sweeties and using crisp boxes with a hole in them this time?

    The only Pacesetter meeting as such that I attended was in an L-shaped room with loads of pillars in it and jackhammers working outside on a hot, airless day, and no, the aircon wasnt working either! You could not have dreamt this one up.

    Back to this 2020 malarky, well if they close that many offices they will have to weed out a fair bit of the crap in management from top down, shurely? As for processing etc., well, if criminal records etc. can be processed overseas then why not taxpayer, sorry, customer, details?

    As for holding an event at Chelsea F.C. what the fark were they thinking about? Someone come up with a costing for this in these austere times please?

    HMRC totally out of control, no moral compass, devoid of ethics, never mind, "Dear old Amyas" got a knighthood!
    Looks like a world cup final score at times;
    PAC/NAO (combined side) 1 - HMRC 7...and no penalties or red cards!


  3. Don't do as I do, do as I tell you - serfs! It's one rule for them and stuff the rest of you.
    There will be a lot more job losses which will hurt a lot of people. As ever the taxpayer is meandering into this with both eyes closed, if you think that "customer service" is at an appalling low level know just wait until after 2020; semi-privatised tax system where the top 10% Germany 90% of the service and the rest get total privatised enforcement with continuing RTI failings leading to illegal debt enforcement and theft of assets to cover debts that never existed or no longer exist as they were paid months before.
    No wonder they want the ability to take it without a court order, Magna Carta replaced by Thieving Charter more like!

  4. Perhaps the remaining staff within HMRC plus those members of the greater taxpaying and compliant members of the public may wish to consider the following:-

    The current edition of the Public and Commercial Services Union carries a 2nd report of the results of the Labour Research Departments recent stress survey.
    It should not surprise you at this stage to learn that HMRC and the DfT and it's agencies experienced stress levels way above average.

    Would it be more than a coincidence that one Lin Homer was appointed CEO of the DfT in December 2010 by Sir Gus O'Donnell and amazingly appointed by the same Sir Gus to be CEO of HMRC some 2 years later?

    I believe the issues are indicative of a widespread malaise and general institutional failing throughout the public sector management system, but obviously HMRC is at or near the top of the league when it comes to failing. Years of subsequent negative staff survey reports support this contention.

    The costs in terms of staff suffering and public finances spent on sickness, grievance, Tribunal and illegal conditional settlements has been estimated to run into the hundreds of millions as a result. Austere times?

  5. I chose not to go on it as taking advice from PCS who said they were not compulsory, yet other people were press-ganged to go on them.

    Building Our Future?

    Cretainly not ours!

    1. I refused invitations twice, saying I was not that big a hypocrite and wasn't prepared to enable hypocrisy in others. Then it turned up as a "Must Do" in my performance agreement, so I went. It was wholly unconvincing. It is billed as a "national conversation" but there was no indication of what influence our feedback might have. It all seemed pretty cut and dried to me. Further cuts, fewer offices, a rather pathetic reliance on everything Digital, which with HMRC's IT record seems somewhat risky. The glossy brochure contained lots of references to the staff who would not be going on the digital journey with HMRC. Rather sinister. They don't even respect our intelligence.

    2. As more about these 2020 events seeps out so incredulity grows. Digital journey, WTF! Sounds like a DisneyWorld trip, perhaps they will be playing the music from It's A Small World at the start of hub meetings next?
      As for the dictatorial approach re performance "agreements", it's a box ticking exercise, always has been. I had a colleague years ago who worked out at an early stage what to say at these types of meetings. He used to work out what the major points were and then at certain points during the presentation throw in key words and phrases. The evangelists undertaking the presentations were almost in raptures that someone "understood" the message, fools never realised that this person had primed close colleagues ahead of the game. It was hilarious and helped pass the time while watching management fooling themselves over their delivery of "the word".
      I still have fun recalling how I used to turn performance graphs upside down on the £8th 4 sided roller whiteboard that was trundled around the office like a dalek. I turned one a day for 10 days once before anyone noticed. The graphs were very well produced by an IT geek and in my opinion showed the true figures when inverted :)

    3. I applaud your disrespectful attitude to "whiteboard meetings" - gatherings where staff are supposed to peer at colourful graphs that cannot be read at a distance and don't in any case add to the sum of human knowledge. But beware: I know of one talented and experienced inspector who was marked in the "bottom 10%" for his attitude to whiteboard meetings, and who has now taken his talents to the private sector where he can wield his inconsiderable skills on behalf of corporate clients rather than HMRC. Good news for him, good news for his new employer, bad news for HMRC. Still, the workforce has shrunk, just that little bit, so job done.

    4. Just noticed that "inconsiderable" should read "not inconsiderable". That'll learn me for trying to use double negatives. I should have said "considerable" in the first place. I bet you all worked it out.

  6. I attended one in Southend and was one of the most shambolically organised events I had the misfortune to attend. As said by a previous poster we were effectively press ganged to attend, no doubt the threat of PMR was in the back of the minds of many attendees. Organisation was awful with several events a day there were log jams as people were trying to enter the building (a well known Southend hotel) as attendees of the previous meeting were leaving. No signposts as too where the meeting room was. Once at the meeting the opening speaker read from notes, engagement with the audience was non existant. Pretty much any question that was asked was either dismissed or no one knew how to answered it. A complete waste of 2.5 hours.

    1. Everybody looked like they had the crap kicked out of them once the meeting had finished. What a waste of public money in my opinion.

    2. Motivational speaking at its finest, not.
      It does not matter how much they might have attempted to dress it up its still the proverbial crock of site and no amount of discussion, consultation, union prevarication or wailing of the masses will change what is to happen.
      Lots more jobs to go and a lessening of "service" that will be commensurate with a slimmed down department.
      stress levels may be bad now, wait until this starts hitting home.
      time to get the flock out of there sheeple!

  7. Heaven help those that are left. Not my vision of a bright future.

    1. Workers go to the private sector. U will be better paid. Respected more. U r not f***ing slaves........I will be redundant soon I have no choice but part of me thinks it is a blessing in disguise. Bullying managers, bigger and BIGGER targets, threat of losing flexi, worsening terms and conditions, pension contributions up, PAY FREEZE........ THREATENING PMR SYSTEM, oh did I mention BULLYING...... hardest workers there are the AA's and AO's and some Band O's. There is a manager in our office who is hated so much because of her bullying even her HO manager is scared of her.......NOTHING gets done by sum managers but they land on their promoted arses while the REAL WORKERS get kicked up is like a sweatshop in my opinion it is not an office it is an assembly line. .........Please some decent manager come and see what state the workers are in with blackmailing PMR system and threatening sickness policies.......come on PCS get yr arses into gear and sort this dreadful mess out. All this is just my opinion of course......... Oh I forgot some hmrc staff aren't allowed any.........

    2. At last, more staff are coming forward to tell it as it is. There is a management culture in HMRC that has taken the worst of both Customs and the Revenue and created an environment that is obscene. PCS and many politicians have ignored the reality for their own ends. The public could not care less, even though the ignorant prats are paying from their taxes for the mess.
      It's a sad and disgusting situation and the department is totally out of control and unfit for purpose. It beggars belief that this situation has continued for so long and it gets progressively worse as time progresses.
      Unfortunately it will take something really serious direstly involving a member of staff before the media latches on.

  8. I agree with both last comments and something very bad will happen from this state of affairs with lives and health of staff at risk

  9. It's been mentioned before and need repeating - Mathew Tvrdon was an HMRC employee at Llanishen Tax Office Cardiff with a known history of mental instability when he killed a young Mother and injured many others in a mad spree with his white van. This tragedy has been buried by the establishment, the media and the PAS ever since, despite a call for an investigation.
    This has all the hallmarks of a cover-up as it was only 2 days before the event that this chap had a meeting with his management having allegedly turned up for work wrapped in chains on one occasion and also having been banned from telephone interfacing with the public.
    What makes it worse is that local Politicians are well aware of the tragedy and associated facts.
    Makes one wonder?
    What will it take to change things in HMRC?

  10. There are staff on sick leave, taking anti-depressants, and just miserable, but don't worry Lin, they will just fade away quietly into early retirement, retirement on health grounds, and contribute to the target for reduction in staff numbers..

  11. Reading between the lines of the PAC 2nd Whistle blowing report Lin Homer and HMRC managers have not performed very well at all. The fact that they could not see a pattern in a dress shop let alone wrt bullying and harassment of staff tells it's own story. Now they have to ensure it does not happen again. Some hope, no oversight, no fear of retribution and no chance of them changing their ways with 2020 on the horizon!
    Still, it all sounded good...but where was PCS in all this, asleep?

  12. That's why I didn't bother striking

    1. Not striking really send a message, doesn't it? Apathy. If you're a PCS member you have a voice, so use it. And good luck with your individual, self-negotiated deal with senior management. Oppose the strike on principle, of course, but not on "couldn't be bothered" grounds. If you really don't care what happens to you, stir your stumps for colleagues who might not be so stoical.

    2. whether someone strikes or not is their business. some people dont bother striking not because of apathy but because they have striked in the past and years later we still have the same issues....

    3. Spot on "comrade", the sheeple have such short memories!
      I was a right wing conservative voting CPSA rep in the time when Thatcher was in power. That was the only time I saw real Trades Union clout when the VAT cheques were not banked but sat in Southend Customs VAT HQ for so long The Iron Lady had to negotiate. Trouble was she and the system never forgave the Unions for that loss of face and we suffered for it ever since.
      Current lot in PCS are Trotskist ideology based and could not care a hoot about the mambers.
      The members have been ground down for so long they are like the management, scared of their own shadows.
      If they really wanted to change the crap situation inside HTC they need to grow some Cojones!
      Watch the wall my darlings, while the Gentlemen go by!

    4. Not clear on the message there. Stand up or sit down? Whatever the faults there may or may not be in the PCS, and I have to say that political mudslinging is so predictable and boring, the PCS is trying to stop the Cabinet Office and senior management wrecking HMRC. I thought you would approve of Thatcher's actions, given your credentials. I'd be interested what you think we should do, or is being condescending satisfaction enough?

    5. For the sake of clarity, political or otherwise...
      When the Tories decided to take on the Civil Service unions in Thatchers day the unions were stronger, better supported within and outside their membership and could certainly punch their weight.
      I was no supporter of Thatcher but certainly saw that she had cojones as
      many politicians learnt to their cost. I was a student and remember
      marching in protest against "Thatcher the Snatcher" when she stopped
      free milk in schools, she was also responsible for causing the Falklands
      war by removing HMS Endurance from the South Atlantic - this crazy
      decision was actually reported as a "special" on BBC Pebble Mill at One.
      So apart from the fact that she rightly kicked the site out of Scargill I never supported her, and the damage inflicted on the mining communities was unforgiveable.
      WRT PCS, they have left it a bit late, the damage is terminal, their policy has been to fight to retain jobs, anything else does not fit the model, and that was stated to me by a group member no less. Well that's been a great success so far hasn't it?
      HMRC is joint worst for staff stress levels in the UK and is run by someone with an abominable track record in public service. Bullying and harassment are rife, the public are treated with as much contempt as the staff.
      So, to clarify - WTF are PCS doing or proposing to do that has some effect?
      Extract thumbs from rear ends, take brains out of neutral, replace the rhetoric with action that has effect and represent the membership.

    6. Forgot, WTF was this all about...?
      You must remember the "agreement" between HMRC and PCS entitled
      Embedding Pacesetters in the business from 2010?
      Amongst all the claptrap contained therein was this;
      "Acknowledge that Pacesetters will operate within the parameters of existing HMRC policies such as on Equality, Diversity and Health and Safety."
      The Dundee ET cases punt that into touch along with previous comments on HMRC PCS stress related issues and the Tribunal Chairman's scathing criticism of HMRC management behaviour are clear and unequivocal.

  13. Much of the direction HMRC is taking stems from the Cabinet Office. That's the Cabinet Office that told Michael Dugher (Maude's Labour opposite number) that morale is holding up, when Dugher accused Maude of bashing the civil service. The management system currently in place is institutional bullying. Where is the integrity?

  14. Wish I got paid a lot. Instead we get pissed on a lot