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, 26 June 2008

The Tangled Web - Deplorable Failures

The Tangled Web - Deplorable Failures
What a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive.

I am sure that those "in charge" of HMRC are wishing that they had remembered the above phrase, before they tried to blame the datagate fiasco (where the personal records of 25 million people were lost by HMRC) on the actions of a junior employee.

I have stated here on several occasions that this was clearly the result of senior management incompetence, rather than the actions of a junior. Two reports issued yesterday confirm that view.

The reports state that the loss was "entirely avoidable", of course it was, and that the loss was due to "serious institutional deficiencies" at HMRC. They went on to blame senior management for not explaining data protection rules to junior staff.

This is the crux of the failings within HMRC, as I keep repeating on this site, that the senior management within HMRC and indeed those within Treasury allegedly "in charge" of HMRC are not up to the job of managing HMRC.

Investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Keiran Poynter, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, concluded that there was no evidence of malice or misconduct and blamed systemic failures at HMRC.

The IPCC found "no coherent strategy" for mass data handling. Poynter said that data security was not a "management priority" and morale at HMRC was "low" (rock bottom I would say).

Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, said he would serve an enforcement notice on HMRC over its "deplorable failures" on data security, a move which could result in criminal prosecutions unless it improves its record.

The reports contradict what Brown and his lackey, Darling, said at the time about the loss:

"This was ... not about a failure in the procedures as such".

Darling wnet on to say at the time that the decision to send the two discs to the National Audit Office, where they never arrived, was taken "at a junior level".

Lies always come out in the end. How pathetic HMRC senior management and the government now look for trying to blame a junior.

What has happened to the poor sod that they tried to blame? His/her life was probably made hell on earth at the time. If I were in his/her shoes, I would sue the hell out of HMRC and the government for defamation and emotional damage.

That aside, what is clearly required is major culling of the senior management within HMRC; they are not fit for purpose.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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The full press release can be downloaded here.

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  1. It was a ridiculous excuse, a junior member of staff should not have had access to the whole of a sensitive database in the first place without proper training, proper checks and a NEED to do so.

  2. I came to the same conclusion in HMRC data loss: ‘Institutional deficiencies’ or plain bad management? Curious that Poynter failed make the connection...