In December 2011 the world awoke to the gobsmacking news that Lin Homer was to become CEO of HMRC. I wrote the following
at the time, warning about Homer's track record:
"In 2005 Birmingham was declared to be a "banana republic" by the Election Commission.
Wholesale electoral fraud in the council elections.
The Election Commission ruled that Labour had
been responsible for “massive, systematic and organised postal ballot
He then made a few choice remarks about the Chief Returning
Officer, also the chief executive of the council.
She had "thrown the
rule book out of the window”.
To whom did he refer?
Why none other than Lin Homer.
Labour helped her out by making her head of the UK Borders Agency.
This being the very same UKBA that threw the rule book out of the window and relaxed border controls.
Lin, clearly a career minded woman, moved on from there this summer
(just before the shit hit the fan) and became Permanent Secretary at the
Now she moves to HMRC!"
Fast forward to 2013, and we now see that Parliament may finally be waking up to the fact that Homer is not fit for purpose and that her appointment was farcical.
The cause of this "Damascus Moment" is the appalling performance of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), Homer's proud legacy!
The Commons Home Affairs Committee has said today that it was "astounded" when Homer was appointed to run HMRC.
Newsflash: Had they been on the ball in 2011 they would have seen that everyone else was also "astounded" that this walking disaster area was placed in charge of a failing department (HMRC).
The committee expressed “little confidence” in Homer's ability to "lead" HMRC, following
“catastrophic” leadership failures in her previous role at the UK Border
This is all very well, but her failures were well known at the time!
Why the fark was this woman appointed in the first place?
Homer's legacy from the UKBA has been exposed for all the world to see, the UKBA has a backlog of unresolved asylum cases that will take 24 years to clear. The total backlog of unresolved or disputed immigration cases in the UK
at the end of September last year, but it is not possible
to be sure if that figure was accurate.
The committee have accused the UKBA and Homer of misleading them for the past six years. As per Economia
"The status quo, in which catastrophic leadership failure is no obstacle
to promotion, is totally unacceptable.
recommend that in future any failures of this nature should have serious
consequences for the individual's career.
The whole episode raises serious concerns about the accountability of
the most senior civil servant to parliament. It is shocking that after
five years under Lin Homer's leadership an organisation that was
described at the beginning of the period as not being fit for purpose
should have improved its performance so little.
For six years the committee was misled by UKBA chiefs about the
agency’s unacceptable performance.
It appears more like the scene of a Whitehall farce than
a government agency operating in the 21st century. No sooner is one
backlog closed than four more are discovered.”
So that we are all clear as to exactly what the committee thinks of Homer, here is what they said about her as per the BBC
"Lin Homer, who was in charge of the Agency
for much of the period in question, has repeatedly misled the Committee
over the size of the asylum backlog and still refuses to take
responsibility for her failings.
It is shocking that after five years under Lin Homer's
leadership an organisation that was described at the beginning of the
period as being 'not fit for purpose' should have improved its
performance so little.
Given this background, we are astounded that Ms Homer has
been promoted to become Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary at Her
Majesty's Revenue and Customs and can therefore have little confidence
in her ability to lead HMRC at what is a challenging time for that
I did warn you she was no good, back in 2011!
So, I will repeat my question:
Why the fark was this useless woman appointed in the first place???????
As ever opinions and comments from loyal readers, especially HMRC staff are welcome.
As to the future, will Homer be sacked?
Not yet, the politicians will wait for RTI to fail; as and when that happens she will then be sacked and blamed for that!
A lousy solution, and one that does neither the staff of HMRC nor the taxpayers of the UK any good whatsoever!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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