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, 12 May 2017

Stephen Hardwick Leaves HMRC

My thanks to a loyal reader who posted a comment yesterday alerting me to the fact that Stephen Hardwick (Communications Director initially appointed on a temporary basis in 2011) has left HMRC.

His LinkedIn profile implies he has not yet found a new role:

Director of Corporate Communications

Company Name HM Revenue & Customs

Dates Employed Sep 2011 – May 2017

Employment Duration 5 yrs 9 mos

Location London, United Kingdom

I advised the Executive Committee and Board on communications and reputation in a Department with 65,000 staff and annual revenues of £537 billion from 49 million individuals and 5.4 million businesses. I was a member of the Executive Committee, a broadcast spokesperson and represented HMRC at cross-government forums.

I led 300 staff in media, social media, internal communications, marketing, design, stakeholder relations, corporate publications, sustainability, and HMRC’s Building our Future engagement programme. I managed a budget of up to £20 million a year and was HMRC’s environment champion.

Key achievements:

- repositioned HMRC as a transparent, confident and effective organisation, robustly handling controversies over customer service, tax avoidance by multinationals and international data leaks through proactive media and stakeholder engagement

- influenced senior leadership decision making, advising both on strategy and operations, to ensure the effective delivery of HMRC’s objectives, while protecting its reputation

- transformed HMRC’s approach to employee engagement, creating a compelling narrative and establishing a programme of leader-led face-to-face events. Since April 2014 we engaged 65,000 staff in 2,200 events to discuss HMRC's vision, and in November 2015 involved 1,600 managers to make simultaneous face-to-face announcements about our location strategy

- restructured communications, integrating the corporate centre and business lines, rationalising the structure, defining the scope of authority and accountabilities, and significantly reducing cost and headcount

- developed a campaigns-based integrated communications strategy, directly aligned to HMRC’s business priorities and objectives, covering all aspects of communications and engagement, with clear measurement and evaluation

- improved communications professionalism, pioneering communications evaluation and leading cross-government capability improvement projects.

His Twitter feed says he is "funemployed":

Did he fall, or was he pushed?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Good riddance..another waste of space..senior management all jumping ship now...wonder why ??

  2. Perhaps he had a Damascene conversion. woke up one morning with a conscience.

    1. It is a brutal place to work. It wouldn't be quite so bad if the rule of law applied in there, but seemingly it does not...

  3. What is going at HMRC with their Senior Management?

    With the bullying culture at HMRC, I don't know how any senior manager who turns a blind eye or worse can sleep at night.

    A thuggish place of which the guilty should be thoroughly ashamed!!!

    1. And I've always wondered about the about the 'Holiday Dampener', whether this came from lower management and worked it's way up or from Senior Management and worked down through the ranks. For those not familiar worth HMRC working 'traditions' the Holiday Dampener is used when you are about to go on a long planned vacation which you have worked hard and saved up for. Then on your last day in work before your holiday your manager, whether Junior,HO or SO, will ask you into a meeting room or even corridor for an informal chat. They will then express concern about something you've said or done ( nearly always subjective) and tell you to be prepared for this or that when you return from your holiday. Was musing with someone today about it and how rife it can be on some floors but none-existent on others. The perpetrators are nearly always limited characters who thrive on their bit of power.They are CUNTS and many have wardrobes full of their own skeletons.

    2. HMIC need to get inside HMRC and INSPECT (thoroughly!!!) Follow the evidence and rule of law.

    3. Disagree, there exists sufficient indication that criminal acts have been perpetrated and that robust examination of databases, paper records and proactive approaches to current and previous staff who may witnessed and/or been affected by such acts would bring to light the evidence required.
      Make sure that no HMRC staff on secondment to IPCC or other parts of the Criminal Justice System are able to intefere in any way.
      Light the blue touch paper, gather the popcorn and open a beer!
      Flipping heck, if the IPCC went out to GP's, Psych's, M.P.'s and the media it would be even easier.
      However, all those that believe this will happen can meet in the telephone kiosk at the end of The Mall ;)

    4. The IPCC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and sets the standards by which the police should handle complaints.

      We are independent and make our decisions entirely independently of the police and government. We are not part of the police

      The IPCC is also responsible for dealing with serious complaints and conduct matters relating to staff at the National Crime Agency (NCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Home Office immigration and enforcement staff.

  4. 'and was HMRC’s environment champion'

    A worthless,ten a penny title. Spend weeks,months sometimes years in seminars filled with half-wits like himself then decide something like ' both sides of letters must be printed on to save the trees ' or some crap similar. An average John Craven's Newsround viewer could have come up with that sort of stuff.

  5. Close the door behind you,Hardwick,you useless wanker !! And perhaps take the hundreds of University Degreed non tax experienced Corporate Communication lickspittles with you !!!

  6. Considering employee engagement scores are in the toilet I should think that part of his portfolio can be deemed a dismal failure

  7. @17.08 I have just read your post about the Holiday Dampener. That is exactly what happened me last summer. I had no idea until now that this is happening to other HMRC staff on a regular basis OMG!

    1. The behaviour you describe at HMRC is abnormal. It goes way beyond simply vindictive draconian bad management. You perfectly describe psychopaths taking PERSONAL pleasure (the clue is in the substance i.e. there is no 'business benefit' to their sick behaviour) from leaving a threat hanging over you with the aim of ruining your holiday. If this is happening across the board it would make an interesting psychological study for sure, though I'm pretty certain that HMG would want to find out what's going on in there as its unhealthy to say the least.

    2. I have a colleague who was informed that he was to be lumbered with a middle of year 'needs improvement'( which was incidentally undeserved) an hour before leaving to go on a two week family holiday to Australia.This is more common than you would imagine and trying to delve deeper I would very much doubt all is roses in the lives of those who carry out these practices.

  8. I led 300 staff in media, social media, internal communications, marketing, design, stakeholder relations, corporate publications, sustainability, and HMRC’s Building our Future engagement programme.

    I managed a budget of up to £20 million a year and was HMRC’s environment champion.

    So, no staff or budget spent on serving taxpayers or bringing in tax.

    Staff STILL don't know what's happening with 'Building Our Future' as only managers are invited to discussions now and share nothing with staff.

    Internal Communications - Our 'news' site would make Goebbels proud. How successful we are as a department, how much tax we've brought in, how much management care about staff.

    Read staff surveys and actual newspapers and we're a fucking disaster.

    As for 'Environment Champion', moves to Regional Centres will negate anything you've 'achieved' to date.

    It's not a case of these overpaid cretins being pushed, it's a case of rats deserting a sinking ship.

    He's not the first and he definitely won't be the last.

  9. Errr... pachyderm in corner of room folks!
    Did he forget to explain how telephones calls take so long to answer, assuming caller does not hang up in despair, or maybe what is the % chance of receiving a reply to a "customers" letter, or how a basic letter or public notice can be so criticised for its content?
    Nope, thought not, but when you self assess your performance and slap yourself on the back then reality can be way back beyone the horizon.
    There We Are Then. ;)