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Lin Homer departs HMRC

January 11, 2016


Lin Homer has announced today she is stepping down in April as chief executive and permanent secretary of HMRC, a position she has held for over 4 years. Her tenure has coincided with some of the most controversial episodes in HMRC’s 10 year history, with budget cuts forcing radical change on the tax authority.

The HMRC press office announced her departure with warm praise saying she had led the tax authority, despite the challenging environment, to “successive, record-breaking increases in total revenues and compliance revenues” and “the reduction of the tax gap and tax credits error and fraud, both to record lows.”

Most controversially however, the statement congratulated Homer on leading “a recovery in customer service from a low-point of 48% calls answered in 2011, to almost 90% calls answered in December 2015, with a queuing time of six minutes”.

“After ten years as a Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary in the Civil Service, the start of the next Spending Review period seemed to be a sensible time to move on,” said Homer in a statement. “HMRC has secured Ministerial support and funding for our ambitious transformation programme and it has the leadership team in place to deliver it. My successor will be able to put their full weight behind seeing the transformation through to 2020.”

The Chancellor, commenting on Homer’s departure, said “She has put the foundations in place that will see HMRC become one of the most digitally-advanced tax authorities in the world. It is to Lin’s great credit that the National Audit Office last year judged HMRC to be one of the strongest Departments in Government – a legacy of which she can be rightly proud.”

She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the New Year’s Honours, an award which was greeted with contempt by some members of the AccountingWEB community.

HMRC’s news management appeared to falter because her mention in the New Year’s honours list published on 30 December 2015 described her as “Lately chief executive, HM Revenue and Customs”.  AccountingWEB’s editor John Stokdyk reported how when AccountingWEB queried this with HMRC their spokesperson denied the suggestion, prompting John Stokdyck to comment: “The department's clumsy efforts at news management on such a minor point has not added greatly to the trust and goodwill they enjoy with the AccountingWEB team.”

HMRC confirmed the selection process for a new chief executive is now underway. Her successor will take over in April.

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