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, 2 October 2008

Surely Not?

What The!!
Is this for real?

"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!!!"


Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. I can confirm that such an instruction is most definitely NOT official HMRC policy.

    As any idiot knows, placing a document face down on a desk is not only completely unsecure, but a direct breach of the HMRC Clear Desk Policy.

    If you are told by your senior managers to do this, you must immediately refuse as they are asking you to circumvent procedures which are in place for your protection and the protection of customer data.

    If customer data is stolen from your desk, you are personally responsible and could face disciplinary charges. If, however, you place it in a cupboard or drawer (even one that can't be locked) then HMRC are responsible instead. The risk is not yours to manage - it's theirs.

    Let me repeat one last time, putting documents face down on a desk to secure them is idiotic and whoever suggested it to be an appropriate security measure clearly has no understanding of HMRC's policies.

  2. I agree it is idiocy, but it seems that someone somewhere may have issued such an instruction:

    "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?

  3. dear first contributor - I suggest that you find out what the situation actually is on the ground and have a word with your senior managers. I heard those words coming from his/her very lips. It was silly advice then and it is silly advice now. All my papers are very firmly locked up when I am not at my desk - but then again, I have a lockable cupboard, so I suppose I am lucky.

  4. And if you stand in the corner with your hands over your eyes no-one can see you.

  5. The clear desk policy is nearly always contravened in our office. Management are some of the biggest offenders!!

  6. And now you're supposed to mark your desk (leave a sign) that you've left for the day or going on annual leave so that nothing confidential is put on your desk!!!

  7. well what more can i say...our office puts ALL documents left on your desks at the end of your day into a folder with your name on it...then sticks it onto a shelf along with the rest of your teams...unlocked, and in a nice neat pile for anyone to pick up.

  8. ...and then, just to make sure everyone knows where to look for said pile of documents, you broadcast the fact on the Internet! Clever.