12 January 2016

A charmed life

The teflon civil servant.  The Times reports:
Lin Homer, the chief executive of Revenue and Customs, has announced that she is quitting her job only two weeks after being made a dame.
She will leave in April after a barrage of criticism from MPs over her performance at HMRC and at the UK Borders Agency before that.
Wikipedia has the mud attaching to her stellar career:
In 2005, she was criticised by the Election Commissioner for failings in her role as returning officer during a postal vote-rigging scandal involving Labour candidates the previous year, described by the Commissioner as one that "would disgrace a banana republic", and involving hundreds of votes failing to be counted.
The Home Office was re-organised in 2008, with the formation of the Border and Immigration Agency, later renamed the UK Border Agency, of which Homer became the first chief executive. In 2013, Homer's tenure at UKBA was criticised for its "catastrophic leadership failure" by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, which said it had been repeatedly misled by the Agency. Committee chairman Keith Vaz said her performance was "more like the scene of a Whitehall farce than a government agency operating in the 21st century".
In March 2013, HMRC was criticised by the House of Commons Public Accounts Select Committee for its "unambitious and woefully inadequate" response to a report from the UK National Audit Officein December 2012 concerning poor customer service by HMRC.  Homer has said that the agency has "turned a corner" in dealing with the 79 million calls and 25 million pieces of post received by HMRC each year, having injected £34 million to tackle the problem with that aim of reaching a 90 per cent success rate.

Happy retirement to Dame Lin.  No doubt a lucrative post in the financial sector awaits ...


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