Real time information should be a two way process

01 June 2016

Andrew Hubbard

This week HMRC has published a chart showing its most senior posts within the organisation, and where they fit within the structure. So imagine our amazement when ex-Chief Executive Lin Homer’s name appeared – especially as she stood down in April.

In a digital world information can be updated instantly. Indeed the whole thrust of HMRC’s digital strategy is to get us all to deal with our taxes more or less in real time. It should work both ways: HMRC should also be able to communicate with taxpayers in real time, but it doesn’t always work like that... 

This week HMRC published in the ‘what’s new’ section of its website a document headed ‘senior posts in HMRC’s organisation structure’. I looked at that because I wanted to see the changes as a result of the appointment of the new Permanent Secretary Edward Troup, so I was more than a little surprised to find that Lin Homer was still being shown as HMRC’s Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary - even though she stood down in April. 

It turns out that the full title of the document (which hadn’t registered with me when I opened it) is ‘Senior posts in HMRC’s organisation structure: 31 March 2016’. So technically the document is not wrong, but surely if HMRC is going to post an organisation structure on its website on 31 May it can at least post an up-to-date one?

Okay this may be a trivial example, but it did irritate me. Real time information should be a two-way process.

If you would like to discuss any of these points further, get in touch with Andrew Hubbard or your usual RSM contact.

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