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, 2 August 2016

Mark Dearnley Quits HMRC

In June this year I wrote about Mark Dearnley's (HMRC's chief digital and information officer who joined in October 2013 from Vodafone) appearance before PAC:
"Dearnley told PAC this week that the new company had been set up specifically to provide "a better employment offer for the staff coming in from the private sector", including better base pay and pensions than could be expected as direct employees of HMRC.

However, he is quoted by Public Technology:

"It is limited by the pay cap.
But it does have a different salary scale and remuneration structure, so in that, we've been able to put together what we believe is a much more appropriate offer for people coming in from the private sector."
"I'm sure this will be an ongoing topic of conversation with the Treasury over the next few years."
His last comment about having an ongoing discussion with the Treasury for years is somewhat ironic, as it transpires he is leaving HMRC in September for pastures new in the private sector.

This may cause a few headaches within HMRC, as PAC warned that management needs to be stable during the transition from Aspire. As per PAC:
HMRC is now making progress in replacing the Aspire contract, but moving to a new model of IT provision remains a substantial undertaking which will require firm and consistent leadership.

As we have seen from elsewhere in government, one of the main factors that determines the success of complex programmes such as this is the quality and stability of their leadership.”
PAC must have had an inkling that he was about to abandon ship, as they asked HMRC at the time if was going to stay. HMRC rresponded that they were in negotiations with him!

As per Computer Weekly, Dearnley gave a valedictory statement about his almost 3 years in HMRC:
"We have replaced our outdated internal IT, launched digital tax accounts for individuals and businesses, and have successfully concluded negotiations to dismantle the Aspire IT contract, taking more direct control of the design and delivery of our digital technology services at huge cost savings for HMRC.

We have also built one of the strongest digital technology teams in the world, and I am confident that they will continue to deliver HMRC’s IT transformation at pace.”
Any guesses as to which company he will join?

Who knows, maybe he will get to sell into HMRC advice and/or software as it moves towards its glorious digital future?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Byeee...
    Mind the doors don't catch you on the way out!

  2. The best way out for the shambles that is HMRC is to outsource all of its work to the private sector. It would bring a certain honesty & accountability without any need for the self-serving useless senior management currently on the taxpayer funded civil service gravy train.

    1. Honesty... Accountability..... Private sector... Where?

    2. There are good, bad & indifferent examples of old-fashioned honesty and accountability in the both the private and public sectors; its not about ideology but pragmatism. Its all about finding a solution that works for a persistently failing shambolic organisation. The only answer for the them is to hand more of their work to the best and brightest in the private sector. HMRC - honest and accountable? Really???

    3. I see no suggestion of HMRC being honest and accountable, just a request for examples of the honesty & accountability you seek from within the private sector.
      As for "the best and the brightest in the private sector", again examples please?

  3. No truth in the rumour that Dearnley's contract was not renewed because he spunked away several hundred million pounds of taxpayers money on a Big Data project that has so far failed to deliver any of the benefits claimed for it. Lucky it was not a 'customer facing' system otherwise the media and Parliament might have noticed.

    1. This sounds like an extremely serious situation. It would be in the public interest to know some more details, if possible, so it can be investigated by journalists.

  4. At least he couldn't have left under a Cloud, but only because he couldn't connect to it.

  5. I am close to some very senior IT people.
    Not a single tear was shed that day.....