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, 21 August 2008

From Bad To Worse - The Sweet Smell of Bullshit

From Bad To Worse - The Sweet Smell of Bullshit
Congratulations to those running HMRC, for proving that they can make a bad situation worse!

It seems that security breaches at HMRC have risen dramatically since the data discs fiasco.

How the fark can that be?

HMRC and its political masters had promised to improve security, after last year's spectacular loss of 25 child benefit records. However, as we all know, the promises of politicians and bureaucrats are worse than worthless.

HMRC have clocked up a stunning ten security breaches a day since October last year, compared to eight per day the previous year.

The losses include physical theft of computers containing information about members of the public, and mobile phones with private numbers stored in them.

Since October 2007 there have been 1,993 incidents. On the assumption that this "stellar" performance continues, there will be more than 2,700 breaches by this October.

That's an increase of 28%!

Well done lads!

Those of you who are a tad worried about this need have no fear, Treasury Minister Jane Kennedy has an excuse:

"This high level of reporting reflects the increased awareness of staff following the child benefit data loss in October 2007."

Read that again, just to make sure that you fully understand what this daft woman just said.

She is implying that before the theft, HMRC staff hadn't got the wit/brains or practical knowledge to be able to recognise when something (eg a pc or mobile phone) had been stolen; or if they did recognise that something had been stolen, they hadn't the wit/brains or common sense to report the theft.

If it looks like bullshit and smells like bullshit, then the chances are it is bullshit!

I would like to hear what the members of staff of HMRC think about her "excuse", and the real reason that security breaches have increased.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. No comments on this one, Ken? Could that be because you invited input from people you'd just described as having no "common sense", "wit/brains or practical knowledge"?

    Oh! I'm sorry. Did I quote you out of context? Who would do a thing like that?


    Note that the minister points out in her answer that "such security breaches reflect potential weaknesses reported by staff and not actual thefts or losses."

  2. Anom

    You need to read what I said.

    I did not describe staff as "having no "common sense", "wit/brains or practical knowledge".

    I said that Treasury Minister Jane Kennedy's comments implied that she thought that.

    wrt your quote:

    How can a security breach be only a "potential weakness"?

    By defintion if security has been breached, then there is a weakness that needs to be addressed.

  3. You need to read what I said! I already apologised for quoting you out of context.

    Surely I don't need to explain irony to a man with an award-winning website which includes being entertaining as part of its mission statement!

    Did you look at the link I posted above? If you feel the minister has lied in Hansard I suggest you should make a formal complaint.

    In the meantime, at least you've backed down slightly from your original post, in which you appear to imply that each of the 1,993 incidents in question represented a theft.

    "By defintion if security has been breached, then there is a weakness that needs to be addressed."

    I'm not entirely sure where you're coming from here. The minister said that the increase in reported incidents was due to heightened staff awareness. Now you seem to be saying that this increase could reflect an increase in the identification of weaknesses that need to be addressed. Erm. I guess that's probably what you'd hope to see if staff were made more aware of the issue. Surely you don't agree with the minister, Ken!