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, 30 September 2008

But For a Ha'peth of Tar

But For a Ha'peth of TarI understand that in the aftermath of HMRC's Datagate scandal last year, when HMRC lost the personal details of 25 million taxpayers, HMRC management have instructed all HMRC staff to remove customer correspondence from desks and lock it in a secure drawer/cupboard when they leave the office.

I am not quite sure how that will prevent another Datagate. However, it is a good security measure.

Unfortunately, there is one problem.

A large number of staff in number of offices do not have lockable drawers.

Fair enough, buy some locks then!

Unfortunately, HMRC cannot afford to do that.

Therefore staff have been instructed in at least one office to remove all customer correspondence from their desks when they leave the office, and put it in a large unlocked cabinet!!


A brilliant solution is it not?

Not only does the correspondence remain unlocked, but it is helpfully gathered together in one place so that anyone (eg cleaners, journalists working under cover etc) wishing to have look can do so with ease.

Quite why the powers that be think that this is more secure is beyond me.

A cynic might suggest that the "clear desk" policy has nothing to do with security, but is in fact a means of making HMRC processes seem more "outsource friendly".

Clear desks, in theory, mean easy and simple processes!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. As an ex Customs Officer now working in the "joined up Dept" I was horrified when I went to my new office and saw that the middle of the room contained a row of open filing cabinets -unlockable - with hundreds of corporation tax files in them. I asked what would happen if I removed one - would anyone know ? The answer was No as there is no booking out system ! I then asked what about the cleaners ?
    The answer was - they don't understand English so it does'nt matter if the files are not locked up !
    In the old Customs and Excise this would never have been allowed -

  2. I have heard that in HMRC offices which do not have lockable storage for files/papers staff have been instructed to turn papers and files face down at the end of each working day "so as to keep them secure"... I kid you not!!!

  3. Yes - my friend Mr Anonymous confirmed that. At a meeting he was told by no less a personage than the head of the region that lockable cabinets could not be afforded so staff should leave papers face down on their desk. Is it any surprise that that data disc got lost with such clowns in charge?

  4. "In the old Customs and Excise this would never have been allowed"

    I couldn't agree more.

    The lack of security awareness among ex-Inland Revenue staff is frightening.

    Back in the old days of Customs and Excise you were always taught to lock things away. Managers would conduct checks every single day and woe betide you if you left any paperwork or date stamps out.

    Sadly, the Revenue don't seem to have the first clue.

  5. What a lot of anonymouses (anonymousi?) there are on this blog! There should be a prize for the greatest percentage of anonymous contributors.

  6. It's anonymous or be investigated and then sacked.

  7. Interesting to note that HMRC say they cannot afford lockable cabinets. There is at least one HMRC building with a whole room full of perfectly useable, but unlockable cabinets.
    Due to the fact that they don't have the money to get the locks fixed, they have been deemed to be "surplus to requirements", and therefore await disposal. They've been there well over a year, because management say there's no money in the budget to hire a skip. HMC&E was never like this.

  8. It is worse than stated on October 4th.

    The thought police have now been round labelling each cupboard "scrap" with advice to HMRC staff that the furniture will be removed, whether emptied or not.

    I suppose this makes everyone equal. No-one will then have access to a cupboard, lockable or not.

    What has happened to the Customs & Excise? Cowed, dispirited, ineffectual = unrecognisable.

  9. Re: "What has happened to the Customs & Excise?...

    Answer - there is now an overwhelming body of evidence to show that HMRC is NOT a merger of IR and C&E; the IR have in fact assimilated C&E into the HMRC "Collective" in much the same cold and ruthless manner of the Borg Collective, although admittedly not as efficiently so (then again no surprises there as IR management are not exactly renowned for their efficiency). The similarities between HMRC and the Borg Collective are astonishing with all remnants of humanity, compassion, personality and individuality purged/deleted, each member of staff is referred to as "a unit". Treated as mere automaton-like drones instead of being allowed to do any useful work we are forced to complete a never-ending array of totally pointless spreadsheets purely to satisfy the self-serving, self-important senior management - needless to say "resistance is futile".