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.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Post Room Closures

My thanks to a loyal reader who sent me a copy of a message from Ed McKeegan (Director of HMRC Estates and Support Services), sent yesterday, to HMRC staff concerning post room closures:
"Message from Ed McKeegan: 

Thank you to our post room colleagues
31 October 2014

Over the next few months, as has already been announced, HMRC's Regional Post Rooms (RPRs) will close, starting with RPR Cardiff today. As we reach this important milestone I wanted to thank everyone who has worked in a RPR - providing this valuable service to the Department.

When they were set up in 2008, the RPRs were a radical change for HMRC. We reduced numerous small, in-house post rooms to just five big centres, in Cardiff, Cumbernauld, Bootle, Shipley, and Newcastle. This enabled us to build up considerable expertise in the RPR network and a successful professional operation, with more standardised processes.

HMRC's digital transformation is improving the service we offer our customers, and post handling is now at the forefront of those changes with the introduction of post scanning by Personal Tax (PT), which contributes around 70 per cent of RPR work. For PT, the introduction of post scanning means they can reply to customers more quickly, with the ability to send post to any desktop, in any office, in an instant we won't need to spend time sorting or transporting it.

Obviously this and other digitisation changes will reduce the post handling work for RPRs considerably and this has led to the closure of the RPR network. Without the hard work our people have put into standardising post handling, this huge leap forward would not have been possible.

The teams in the RPRs have provided an excellent service to the Department. In the past two years alone, they've handled more than 147 million items of post, provided messenger services and many other types of post-related duties.

But, as the bulk of our post-handling work is coming to an end, our RPRs are closing. Cardiff closes today and Bootle will close on 31 December. The remaining RPRs in Shipley, Cumbernauld and Newcastle will close on 31 March 2015. We'll also set up a new Central Mail Unit in Newcastle to manage all the remaining post-handling work.

So as we say goodbye to our RPR colleagues, some to other parts of HMRC and others who are leaving, I want to say thank you very much to everyone in the RPRs for all their hard work over the years and to wish them well in their future roles, wherever they may be.

Ed McKeegan"

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  1. Obsequiousness disguised by insincerity, whichever way you read it the message remains the same - thanks, feck off and turn the lights out when you go!

    Anyone believing the replacement will stop the delays is deluded, the tax base is too convuluted to cope with the breadth and volume of post received.

    Best wishes to all post room colleagues, you deserved better than the crap management and poor treatment you experienced. Life on the outside is better! ;)

  2. "So as we say goodbye to our RPR colleagues, some to other parts of HMRC and others who are leaving"

    I laughed my head off at that. Others who are leaving, whether they like it or not. It reads like thanks for being a mug, now piss off somewhere else. I'm sure Ed McKeegan and the rest of them are going to be busy deciding what they are going to have for the staff Christmas dinner, lol.

  3. "Without the hard work our people have put into standardising post handling, this huge leap forward would not have been possible."
    In otherwords you did yourselves out of your own jobs.
    Agreed Insincertity at its worst. Likely to be one of many more over the coming months.

  4. Just because we get the post quicker doesn't make us process the work any faster. We don't have enough caseworkers. Simple as that.

    1. On the processing side,there idea of caseworkers was phased out a long time ago. The ones that go through to the adjudicators may be the exception to the rule, probably because those are the ones with the most potential embarrassment. Even the black-topped tabloids don't seem that interested in trying to embarrass the department when it comes to highlighting individuals cases like they used to. More sport to embarrass the entire civil service as a workforce it seems.

  5. Just get out it's much nicer outside the Revenue, all that H&S drilled into you, all that backbiting between grades, all those silly rules from people paid £200,000 all disappear. Please if you are in two minds about whether to go just go it's the best thing you will do. :)

  6. Life is much better on the outside, but that is not the point unfortunately. Life on the inside should not be so oppressive that staff hate the place and the managers.
    Homer, Excom, management, Lean loons & Politicos all should hang their heads in shame for the way that the staff have been treated ever since this debacle was created.
    It says a lot for society that such mismanagement and incompetence and diabolical service to the taxpayer has been allowed to continue for so long.
    Religion aside, reap what ye sow, try opening your eyes and not ignoring the elephant in the corner of the room any longer!
    It's your money they are p'ing against the wall people, and they don't care.

  7. I remember when I started with Customs and Excise I was advised never to bring the department into disrepute, never talk to the press etc and that was fair enough. Then in 2007, HMRC lost millions of peoples private details and there followed a whole litany of cock ups by this department that had nothing to do with me or my colleagues. So my view was these bastards were bringing my character into disrepute because I was associated with this place through my employment and I made a determined effort to leave. My point is if you view HMRC as destroying your character it may make it easier for you to leave and move on. Be aware that no matter what your position or grade or how innocent you think you as an individual are inside HMRC, your name is still associated with them. Remember the disgraceful actions of this department have been all over the press and intranet over the last five or six years, and future prospective employers are probably aware of it.

  8. I agree totally. The place is an effing cancer,

  9. At long last, more people with the will to say it as it is. If only those that could have, would have hammered on their M.P.'s doors.

    It is now too late to stop the rot and the likely outcome will be a combination of more privatisation of tax administration and breaking up into separate Revenue and Customs/Excise as the monolith is totally fecked and embarrassing.

    Crap managers will remain Crap managers and staff will still be bullied and harassed.

    Other than that, no change!

  10. We all know the ultimate plan is for one big government department subdivided into sections there evetually will be now DWP, HMRC, Border Agency etc they will be just different sections of HM Government.

    This will allow staff to work in different departments where the need arises and be able to transfer jobs and information.

  11. For the past 36 hours or so. The scanned digital mail service has been broken. So we are now working 'paper' post from 1 October (that has been excluded from the scanning for whatever reason) despite the fact that we were answering letters received ~18 October via the scanning system.

    There have been several attempts at implementing 'tranche 2' of the 'agile development' which have failed every single week for the past four weeks.

    The cost of licenses for the KANA e-mail response software that allows structured e-mails to be answered from a pilot audience, suddenly isn't a huge security problem any more!!!! This is what our 'work steer' is from tomorrow. So, if you have written a letter to HMRC about your personal tax, don't expect it to be answered soon. The digital mail system is broken so we can forget your queries for a couple of months whilst your letters remain in a completely outsourced data queue.

    1. The Agile Manifesto is based on 12 principles:[9]

      Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software (not achieved)
      Welcome changing requirements, even late in development (not achieved, but mostly because getting change right would require a years worth of bashing the actual meaning of the civil service competencies in to several manegerial grades little minds')
      Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months) HAHAHAHHHAHA what was that, weekly?
      Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers (not possible if HMRC insist on building products based on what a senior manager thinks the staff require based on the last time they did a worthwile job)
      Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted (no, they build them around what management want, motivated individuals are ignored because they see the picture beyond the managers limited scope of thinking)
      Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (when management want to direct communication to their minions)
      Working software is the principal measure of progress (?????? - totally foreign concept)
      Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace (3 failed deliveries? COME ON!!!!!!)
      Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design (see above)
      Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential (give it to management they can quantify it on a graph somewhere)
      Self-organizing teams (huh? Civil servants allowed to organise how they work?)
      Regular adaptation to changing circumstances (suggest how to solve a problem before it happens and you are treated with disdain, because the higher ups can't nick your idea because it would appear so out of the ordinary that they could have come up with it. Stop that idea before it's effective. It's the civil service protectionist clan motto!

  12. motivation sucked out of you, managers that cant do the job, no prospects, and generally a waste of your life. tell me I'm wrong.

  13. you know, you're right! I'm finishing today and that's it for me. Thanks for opening my eyes to the existence I've let myself allow them to put me in. As of Monday I start living.