MPs launch attack on 'appalling' Lin Homer

HMRC chief executive Lin Homer has been criticised by a group MPs for “catastrophic leadership failure” when she was head of the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

In a Home Affairs report, the committee said it was “astounded” that Homer was promoted to her HMRC role after her performance during five years at the UKBA.

Chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select committee MP Keith Vaz said successive UKBA chiefs, including Homer, “presided over chaos” including 100,000 unopened letters, which the report said were unanswered at the date of Homer's Public Accounts Committee appearance and massive backlogs.

“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,” he said.

Vaz added that the current UKBA backlog stands at the population of Iceland (which is approximately 319,000) and will take 24 years to clear.

Continued...

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Comments

why is it that this is    3 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

not surprising at all....

ShirleyM's picture

I agree @justsotax    6 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Being a disaster at one high profile job, or being caught lying, cheating, passing the buck, fiddling, even criminal activity, does not seem to be a barrier to top jobs these days.

Speeding    1 thanks

Peter Kolovski | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

Being a disaster at one high profile job, or being caught lying, cheating, passing the buck, fiddling, even criminal activity, does not seem to be a barrier to top jobs these days.

  Why when I read that did "MP's and speeding fines" come to mind :)

ShirleyM's picture

Perjury?    3 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

That's just a minor problem these days. I guess there is an honest person in the Commons somewhere ... well, maybe, maybe not!

Maybe decent honest people are not very attractive to employ in some circles, as they may act honestly and selflessly ...... and dish the dirt?

kenfrost's picture

Homer and th DfT    2 thanks

kenfrost | | Permalink

Let us also not forget her time in the DfT http://hmrcisshite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/lin-homer-and-dft-not-fit-for-... :

As per the Transport Committee - Eighth Report Cancellation of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition (published 23 January 2013):

"A more direct description of what happened [than that provided by Laidlaw] is that ministers and senior officials were lied to about how the outcome of the franchise competition had been reached. A major unanswered question is why ministers and senior officials were misled about how the SLFs had been calculated, the issue which led directly to the cancellation of the franchise competition. We recommend that the Department explain why this happened, if necessary after decisions have been reached on whether or not to take disciplinary action against particular members of staff. (Paragraph 26)
 
3.  In our view, we cannot categorically rule out the possibility that officials manipulated the outcome of the competition not only to keep First Group in the running for as long as possible, as Mr Laidlaw suggested, but to ensure that First got the contract. We recommend that the DfT find a way of undertaking a full email capture, reporting to someone suitably independent, to help get to the bottom of why DfT staff discriminated against Virgin and in favour of First Group during the ICWC franchise competition. (Paragraph 28)"

Joking aside    4 thanks

Peter Kolovski | | Permalink

Joking apart, it is difficult to see how we can have any confidence in, or respect for, an organisation headed by someone responsible for "100,000 unopened letters", deliberately misleading parliament (lying), and displaying complete incompetence.  Doesn't give you much faith in HMRC does it.

judging by her performances    3 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

in front of the camera her best comparison is with Boris Johnson...a comical but likeable baffoon (her problem being she doesn't quite have the charisma to carry off 'likeable')....sorry about the character assassination but i do find it funny like ShirleyM that being inept at your job is no boundary for promotion to the top jobs in the public sector.

Where did I go wrong ?    1 thanks

Katy D | | Permalink

daft on the right side and laughing all the way to the bank....

memyself-eye's picture

Maybe Homer

memyself-eye | | Permalink

Should be put in charge of our nuclear programme?

 

Doh!

mr. mischief's picture

Aren't we being a bit harsh?    1 thanks

mr. mischief | | Permalink

Surely, on the basis of what we've learned today, she's a great fit with HMRC.  A round peg in a round hole.  Conversely, someone eficient who gets things done would just be wasted there.

johnjenkins's picture

Sounds like just

johnjenkins | | Permalink

the person for the job. I have a feeling she could be the "extra help" promised to be available after the enquiry centres go. Now let your imaginations run wild with Lin at the other end of the phone.

If I'd been a betting man

Peter Kolovski | | Permalink

I thought anything would be an improvement on Hartnett - just proves how wrong you can be.  

JAADAMS's picture

Poor Lyn...I thought it was just Margaret Hodge...

JAADAMS | | Permalink

...this might make you smile...... :

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=12413&st=15:25:50

Its the showing of the Public Accounts committee that met on 28 Jan. There's quite a lot of discussion about RTI and how HMRC call centres are going to cope. The Chairman Margaret Hodge concludes that they wont (are we surprised?).

Plus - just watch Lin Homer (Chief Executive & Permanent Secretary) and Ruth Owen (Director General Personal TAX HMRC) squirm when Ms Hodge has a go at them about 0845 numbers! Priceless!

... after Margeret Hodge has a right moan about the cost of ringing HMRC (apparently her constituents had complained to her) Lin Homer confirmed that the 0845 number will be going. 

http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/treasury-comes-under-fire-pac/537548 

johnjenkins's picture

Yes 0845 numbers    1 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

are going to be replaced with 0900 numbers and luscious Lin or h....... (can't think of what might go with Homer) heavy breathing at the other end.

That would explain it....    1 thanks

Ben Alligin | | Permalink

I have written to Ms Homer on 3 occasions to report the incompetence of various members/departments of HMRC but she has never personally responded to my letters. Now I know why, she doesn't do 'opening letters'. My final letter pointed out how different her approach was to that of CEOs in the private sector, the latter category always respond, usually very quickly and always deal with the matter and get it resolved. That speaks volumes about the civil service v private sector where accountability and a desire to achieve something prevail.

Out of interest, I wrote to David Cameron pointing out the incompetence of Lin  Homer, in true civil service fashion, my letter was passed to an underling, who thanked me for my letter, and advised me that it was not a matter directly for the PM, but my letter would be forwarded to the correct department to respond appropriately. So that would be HMRC, and I am still waiting for a response.............!

Come back Sir Humphrey.

Who appointed her?

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Who appointed her? are they not to blame?

Who promoted her? are they not to blame?

Is she just a professional scape goat I wonder?

Why is incompetence so sought after in these top jobs or are they just all psychopaths?

Remember the difference between a high flyer and a psychopath is the trail of destruction they leave behind them.

We really need to brain scan these people before we put our futures in their hands, I will wager their frontal lobes are not working.

Lin Homer - again?

ianmcmonagle | | Permalink

This is the same Lin Homer that's decided that HMRC should close all 281 of their Enquiry Centres within the next year and replace the service with their existing insufficient call centres and passing the buck to the Citizens Advice Bureau and other voluntary organisations to provide tax advice to the public.

It has always been said.....

vinylnobbynobbs | | Permalink

That people rise to the level of their own incompetance!

This is a disaster for all of us

smallbeancounter | | Permalink

Seriously, if we don't do something about civil service and ministerial incompetence we are all going to sink further into poverty. Bleating about this on a blog isn't enough. We need to DO something. Any ideas?

It's all part of    2 thanks

ghewitt | | Permalink

The game. Anyone who thinks that anything will come out of this or that change will take place is deluding themselves. Everything is as it should be; the plan is going to...well plan. Look behind the charade and see what is happening whilst attention is on the fall guy - or gal in this case.

It is all a game. Planned and executed.

Come on people. Wake up and smell the coffee. It's all a game and you are players; they are players. Outrage in the press, outrage amongst the public - all part of the game to keep you all at each others throats and your eyes off the ball.

All the while we are dancing around, wringing our hands and saying ooo how awful it must never happen again lets have a very long and expensive inquiry (with those really nice biscuits, you know the ones with those big chocality bits in them I really, really like) the Global Government tightens its grip and brings in more draconinan laws to take away even more freedom (such as it is). So whilst we all go away thinking, good that law will stop half-wits being in charge again we have lost more freedom. Just watch the raft of new regulations and other mealy-mouthed regulation come in to 'prevent' it happening again.

Come on. Do you really think that NO ONE, I mean absolutely NO ONE, knew she was incompetant; what her track record was? Come on, do you????

She was the ideal candidate and has performed just as expected.

Instead of hanging her out to dry; lets ask what's behind it all, why it was ALLOWED to happen, who is benefiting from this, follow the money, look for the shady characters lurking in the background and disapearing fast from view.

But we won't. we will watch the TV shows and forget all about it....ooooo she won the car, welI I never, some people are so lucky.

 

 

 

It's the Peter Principle

vstrad | | Permalink

Devised by Dr Laurence J Peter and published in his seminal book of 1969, the Peter Principle states that: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence".

No body expects the chocolate chip!

The Black Knight | | Permalink

ghewitt wrote:

All the while we are dancing around, wringing our hands and saying ooo how awful it must never happen again lets have a very long and expensive inquiry (with those really nice biscuits, you know the ones with those big chocality bits in them I really, really like) the Global Government tightens its grip and brings in more draconinan laws to take away even more freedom (such as it is). So whilst we all go away thinking, good that law will stop half-wits being in charge again we have lost more freedom. Just watch the raft of new regulations and other mealy-mouthed regulation come in to 'prevent' it happening again.

You'll be carted away.

Especially for mentioning the chocolate chip. Now the plebs have something they understand like pasties and can riot about.

 

compliance

The Black Knight | | Permalink

smallbeancounter wrote:

Seriously, if we don't do something about civil service and ministerial incompetence we are all going to sink further into poverty. Bleating about this on a blog isn't enough. We need to DO something. Any ideas?

the only answer is compliance.

a faster route to destruction!

follow the road map.....shop in tesco's only, don't pay your tax like everyone else, claim maximum benefit entitlement, breed more delinquents, and vote the public sector a pay rise to administer this and give them extra holidays,save them having to pretend to strike. Did anyone notice by the way?

johnjenkins's picture

Wow, how

johnjenkins | | Permalink

much coffee have you lot been drinking whilst dunking your favourite particular biscuite.

No need to do anything, it's all in the pipeline (no not the Russian gas one).

As soon as the weather warms up watch the peaceful demos turn into massive European walkouts.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

ianmcmonagle | | Permalink

Now that Lin Homer has apologised to the Commons Affairs Committee for not telling the truth, and trying to cover up her incompetence before being found out, can we really believe any statistics that HM Revenue & Customs has produced recently and will no doubt feed to us in the future about how well its doing?

Is her reward for lying to the politicians and botching up one department, to reward her with an even bigger one to play about with.

In the words of William Shakespeare, "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive".

 

Not opening letters...    1 thanks

Vince54 | | Permalink

...goes a fair way to explaining the postal vote elecoral fraud that occurred in Birmingham while one Lin Homer was chief executive and returning officer.

"Election judge Richard Mawrey not only described it as a 'fraud which would have disgraced a banana republic' but criticised Ms Homer directly for allowing corners to be cut, saying that she 'had thrown the rule book out of the window' to cope with the overwhelming number of postal votes."

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/mps-launch-scathing-atta...

Homer

taxbakbristol | | Permalink

Are you sure its not Homer Simpson in charge?

 

Why is she not facing criminal charges    1 thanks

Roland St Clere... | | Permalink

Or has she got friends amongst the gangsters in the Police and the CPS.

All makes sense now?    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

That's the reason HMRC do nothing about tax evasion because they are protecting their own kind.

keithas's picture

But... Keith Vaz!?

keithas | | Permalink

Keith Vaz criticising anyone for impropriety is beyond hypocrisy.

Lin Homer

ver1tate | | Permalink

 

Following the comments about Lin Homer, I take it she will never answer the under noted letter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is estimated that tax avoidance costs HMRC between £14 billion and £69 billion, depending on which media gives out the information.

Much of this loss is caused by 'loopholes' which are exploited by 'clever' accountants.

But these loopholes need never happen. For what in betting terms would be a surefire winner at odds of at least 14 to 1, new tax laws can be made to ensure that loopholes do not exist.

For an outlay of £1 billion, HMRC can put in place a team of tax experts who could ensure that future tax laws are without flaw. This team should comprise individuals who have no current connections with those outside the revenue.  This team should be set up on the basis of ‘The Untouchables’ set up by Elliot Ness.

None of the tax avoiders such as Amazon, Starbucks and others could afford to equal this outlay. 

The FULL amount of tax due would be collected, and the outlay by HMRC would be returned in a very short period, with greater returns to follow.

All that is needed is the will to put this into being.

Pot and kettle spring to mind

taxbakbristol | | Permalink

Pot and kettle spring to mind!

some are not that concerned

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Still a celebrity in some circles?

"We are delighted to announce that Lin Homer, Chief Executive of HMRC, will be speaking at The 2013 UK Tax Investigations Conference which will be held in The Great Hall, at the ICAEW on 1st November 2013. The conference will feature an outstanding selection of speakers who will provide you with" a fresh something or other

 

Perhaps she is in charge of unopened post at SOCA and the Tax Evasion department.

 

johnjenkins's picture

Perhaps we could    1 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

send her to North Korea on a fact finding mission, although they might head hunt her for their renewed nuclear energy program.

Of course    1 thanks

ghewitt | | Permalink

The Black Knight wrote:

ghewitt wrote:

All the while we are dancing around, wringing our hands and saying ooo how awful it must never happen again lets have a very long and expensive inquiry (with those really nice biscuits, you know the ones with those big chocality bits in them I really, really like) the Global Government tightens its grip and brings in more draconinan laws to take away even more freedom (such as it is). So whilst we all go away thinking, good that law will stop half-wits being in charge again we have lost more freedom. Just watch the raft of new regulations and other mealy-mouthed regulation come in to 'prevent' it happening again.

You'll be carted away.

Especially for mentioning the chocolate chip. Now the plebs have something they understand like pasties and can riot about.

 

I am waiting for the 3am knock at the door; maybe I can placate them with tea and aforementioned biscuits.

But really; it is just like politicians saying how many more people they are treating in the hospitals than the previous government; as though that was some kind of achievement. What! You are treating MORE people!!??? Surley the measure should be treating fewer. But then the madness kicks in and we all cluck about at how wonderful that is - ooo the chocolate ration has gone up from 30 grams to 25 grams; what a wonderful government we have.

The whole thing is a farce. It's all made up.

Don't you ever just stop and take a step back and look at this world?

It is totally mad.

As they say    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

There are two things that float to the top.

and there ain't a lot of cream!

Could it be 'Birds of a

ver1tate | | Permalink

Could it be 'Birds of a feather flock together?