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, 22 February 2018

Rebuilding HMRC's Shattered Brand

Poli Stuart-Lacey, who has previously run comms for several government departments, including the Cabinet Office and the Department for International Trade, was appointed as HMRC's director of comms in January after serving there in an interim capacity since last May.

She spoke to PRWeek about her priorities:
"One of my big priorities this year will be on continuing to build our reputation, and reviewing our brand persona – it’s really important we connect with customers in a way which makes their experience as easy and efficient as possible, whether online, by letter or over the phone. Externalising our organisational values is key to getting that right, and applies as much to customers as it does to our employees."
Referring to the recent Ducks Quack campaign:
"I’m really pleased with how the campaign ran, and so far the metrics are looking really strong."

Stuart-Lacey, who studied French and Italian at the University of Hull, has made her career in central government comms over the past 18 years and has never worked in the private sector.

She worked for the Department for Education and then the Home Office, before moving to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Her first stint at HMRC was as its head of comms in 2012, with responsibility for internal and external comms about benefits and credits, a role she held for more than three years.

From here, Stuart-Lacey moved to the Cabinet Office, where she was head of comms for nearly two years.

A short stint as interim director of comms at the Department for International Trade followed before she returned to HMRC in the interim comms director role.
"I’m thrilled to be able to take on the role permanently at HMRC – I’ve been inspired by the dedication of the people I’ve been working with since last May and I’m excited to lead the communications profession at such a critical point in our departmental history.

I’m really grateful for the experience I’ve gained in my last roles at the Cabinet Office and Department for International Trade, and to be continuing to work with a hugely talented community of communication directors from across government."
Ironically, for someone involved in communications, she's not very keen on FOI and was part of a group that called for restrictions on freedom of information!

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  1. Another well paid non job -what the fuck does "the metrics are looking really strong" mean ? Building a reputation for ineptitude, bullying both staff and small business whilst turning a blind eye to rampant tax avoidance -still need someone to put a spin on ditching 12 000 staff to move to sexy new regional centers, to justify a merger that was pointless .

    1. Would you expect somebody called Poli to have a real job?

    2. Sounds like a person you'd never get sick of punching!

    3. Another "BRILLIANT" appointment !!! Wonder how brown her tongue is ??
      Wake the fuck up....the HMRC are being run by senior management imbeciles !!!

    4. Here's Jon Thompson's latest utterings on Twitter to the "fast trackers" ie the graduates who think they will make the HMRC private...then realise the place is a berth the Titanic and leave as quick as possible...what a fucking farce...throw out the life rafts !!!"

      Enjoyed talking to @HMRCgovuk colleagues on the @faststreamuk about resilience and wellbeing. Good questions about my experience too! #BrilliantCivilService"

    5. Her opposition to FOI is no surprise. HMRC have a lot to keep hidden. Dirty secrets of internal bullying, law-breaking and cover-ups leaving victims suffering mental health breakdown and suicidal ideation, all in the full knowledge of HMRC Senior Management and HR.

      If one were collecting a big taxpayer funded salary for protecting HMRC's brand you would understand, immoral & dishonest as it may be, why they would have a vested interest in keeping it all quiet.

      Fortunately there are a few courageous people who won't be silenced about HMRC's violent misconduct.

      In other news Charmaine De Souza, formerly a senior HR person for HMRC, has left to work as an Assistant Director for the Mayor of London. The public sector gravy train continues.

  2. Start with this sort of thing

  3. A career civil servant is the wrong person for that role. Anyone with any basic knowledge of marketing knows that ethics are an integral part of the marketing mix. While deeply troubling accounts of HMRC brutally bullying both their own staff and small business continue to emerge the job of rebuilding their shattered reputation is impossible.

    What HMRC need is a marketing & branding expert with an outside perspective, someone who is far removed from what goes on there. HMRC will never stop bullying simply because it's the right thing to do both morally and to retain good staff etc - the violent bullying and cover-ups are part of an entrenched culture. But that culture may be gradually changed if the self servers can be made to wake up and see the coffee that they might have a reputational self interest to clamp down on the misconduct.

  4. Stinks of bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, Brexit is going to be the game changer in that the floundering for years HMS HMRC is finally going to hit the iceberg, watch the senior managers push by the Women and Children ( the workers on the face) to pile into the lifeboats, when the whole clusterfuck sinks to the bottom of the Ocean.

  5. When the redundancies happen, quite a few people on the workface will have nothing to lose , and the dirty secrets will come out.

  6. Well the tick box exercises are beginning....a bullying and harassment forum for us next week....time to speak our minds without management involvement.....and what will happen?
    Management will say they have engaged with us.....and bin the results.
    A fucking farce.

  7. Phrases like 'reviewing our brand persona' illustrate perfectly the problem with HMRC.

    The brand has been toxic from day one, thanks to a constant churn of people at the top. Come in, come up with a daft idea for your cv, then move back to the private sector on promotion.

    Nobody at the top is ever held accountable, and bad decisions are carried forward by the next person to hold the job.

    The old Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise were largely respected institutions. HMRC was a bad idea from the beginning, where staff and customers were given a low priority.

    Still, be another well paid non job, while the workers at the bottom face moving or relocating to HMRC's new locations.

    Yet those at the top still wonder why morale is rock bottom, and why HMRC has such a bad reputation.