PAC slams unqualified HMRC

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have denounced Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for its lack of accounting knowledge and low numbers of qualified staff. One of its recent reports reveals that the HMRCs interim CFO, isnt even a qualified accountant. He is however, a qualified actuary.

Moores actuary status means he is one of three financial directors of government departments who arent financial directors. While the PAC acknowledge that HMRC (and the civil service in general) had taken some steps to improve financial professionalism below board-level, it concluded that further progress is needed before finance professionalism becomes embedded within departments.

Ironically, the report comes shortly after the taxmans recent insistence that taxpayers only use competent professionals...

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By neileg
03rd Oct 2008 16:57

Guardian Advert
I see in Wednesday's Guardian that HMRC are looking for an external body to accredit a new tax professional qualification. The timing seems more than co-incidental!

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By Anonymous
23rd Sep 2008 11:51

Not much better in Local Government
After working for one of the top finance rated Local Authorities, it amazed me how people so high up in finance could hold such a role without an accounting qualification. At the lower end, there were enough good trainees but there wasn't enough jobs to keep them interested as the senior staff who weren't qualified never left because they wouldn't be able to find as good a job as they had without a qualification. Some had valuable experience and I'm not suggesting all non-qualifieds are useless, but surely a more ruthless approach to axing senior staff when promising junior staff are coming through would help both Central and Local Government?!

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By Anonymous
16th Sep 2008 08:55

HMRC need professionals to be competent
If professionals were not competent either, we would be in a right pickle. I had to ring HMRC yesterday to advise them that the refund they were sending to a client following a loss carry back was twice as much as it should be because they had failed to notice that part of the loss was in the 10% tax bracket and a bigger chunk was wasted against personal allowances. They stiil tried to refund 22% tax plus 8% NIC on the whole lot.

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12th Sep 2008 14:23

Merry Go Round
So the PAC has qualified its report on the unqualified

Will HMRC now get the Government it deserves or should that be the other way round

I’m dizzy now (not thick) just confused

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12th Sep 2008 12:42

Who you know not what you know
With HMRC being all about accounting, payroll and tax it is incredible that the head and most of the board are not qualified professionals.

For public companies the company secretary has to be a qualified professional but government does not apply the same rules to itself. The biggest qualification required being who you know not what you know.

What level of confidence does Gordon Brown give us?
When he appoints a fellow scot to manage the country's finances of over 600 billion a year. Darling isn't a finance professional or qualified accountant, he's a lawyer from Kirkcaldy - maybe that's the reason he was appointed coming from a town 20 miles from Brown's constituency in Dumfermline. As far as I am aware Darling hasn't even run the finances of a small company never mind one of the worlds top ten economies.

Terry Cartwright

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12th Sep 2008 13:51

Blame senior management
HMRC (especially the C bit ) actively resented qualified staff. The absence of any qualification criteria was maintained to preserve the position of the innumerate sycophants who greased their way up the pole. Speaking from experience,(as a former employee) the accountancy profession requires standards for entry and progression that the vast majority of HMRC staff could not meet

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