Border Agency not fit for purpose but boss promoted

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 26 Mar 2013
at 22:51

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  • Anonymous


    We all knew this but the saga goes on…..

    The Monty Python Flying Circus “agency: has admitted to a backlog that could take up to 25 years to clear but the ex boss is now in charge of HMRC…..Tax man…in this case a Tax women…..

    Even our Hon MPs are ‘astounded’

    MPs say the UKBA is still plagued by backlogs of unresolved immigration cases.

    The Home Affairs Committee said it had been supplied incorrect data by the agency for six years, and “repeatedly misled” by former head Lin Homer.

    She now the head of Revenue and Customs.

    In its latest report into the immigration agency, the committee said that for six years the UKBA had repeatedly supplied incorrect information about the size of the asylum backlog and measures supposedly being taken to trace others with whom officials had lost contact.

    The report said that the total backlog of unresolved or disputed immigration cases in the UK was 312,726 at the end of September last year

    “Lin Homer, who was in charge of the Agency for much of the period in question, has repeatedly misled the Committee over the size of the asylum backlog and still refuses to take responsibility for her failings,” said the committee.

    “It is shocking that after five years under Lin Homer’s leadership an organisation that was described at the beginning of the period as being ‘not fit for purpose’ should have improved its performance so little.

    “Given this background, we are astounded that Ms Homer has been promoted to become Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and can therefore have little confidence in her ability to lead HMRC at what is a challenging time for that organisation.”

    Keith Vaz said the backlog of unresolved immigration cases will take ‘years’ to clear

    But Keith Vaz, the committee’s chairman, told the BBC: “We are very surprised that given the background she was put in charge of this organisation [the HMRC].

    We don’t make the appointments, it’s up to ministers and the civil service commissioners to decide.

    Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said that Ms Homer had proven to be a “highly effective chief executive” and was the right person to lead HMRC.

    Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: “We have always been clear that the UK Border Agency was a troubled organisation with a poor record of delivery.

    “Turning it around will take time but I am determined to provide the public with an immigration system they can have confidence in.”….

    Does he really really….really… believe this?


    Sir Humphrey will always win out !!


    Sir Humphrey will always win out !!


    And HMRC is in good shape, I can’t remember how many phone calls but it was in the millions they failed to answer last year.

    If ever an organisation treated business with contempt it is them, just pay up, put up and shut up and when the service is crap, don’t complain.

    The madness of the civil service never fails to amaze me. Why don’t we just cut them all together calculate our own taxes minus the cost of running HMRC and pay it. The savings would be huge!


    Well well…

    Rather looks like Mrs Terry May at the Home Office keeps up with BT and has just announced that she has scrapped the Agency……


    So the HMRC is a shambles, the UKBA is a shambles, the head of the NHS is in the firing line over the Stafford shambles, the DfT is in the firing line over the West Coast shambles.

    All very encouraging really.


    Some words that are perfectly matched come to mind…..

    Asylum & Lunatics
    Brewery & P**s up
    £50 note & Red Lights
    Leopards & Spots
    Game & Blame

    Ahhhhhh….Backlog the population of Iceland……


    It makes you wonder what we pay our taxes for.

    Tom Otley

    UK Border Agency ‘not good enough’ and being scrapped


    In so many respects, the failings of the Civil Service reflects the failings, inadequacies and ineptitude of the UK’s private sector which has failed to deliver the kind of performance that the private sector in Germany has delivered over the past 30-40 years. As Corporation Tax rates, higher level income tax rates and taxes on investment earnings have been cut time and again in this country, supposedly removing the disincentive to invest/work in the UK, the excuses for this manifest failure are getting ever more barren.

    As this is a travel related site, how about the not one but two private sector managements which so comprehensively screwed up in their management and operation of the East Coast mainline – that they had to bailed out by the taxpayer? We could, of course, take this on to a rather larger scale and look at the performance of the UK’s banking and financial services industry which has been in receipt of the biggest single sector bailout and implicit subsidy (*) in the country’s entire economic history. (*) Calculated by the Bank of England to have amounted to over £100Bn to the end of 2010 and rising. Quite an impressive achievement!

    The big difference is that in the private sector bad news and cost overruns frequently get buried to avoid embarrassing the senior management (unless they are so big and so egregious that they are going to bring down the entire edifice). I am personally aware of one FTSE 100 company that recently reported a $14Bn write-down and whilst the CEO was made to walk the plank, this was with his $10M in options unaffected… I cannot recall any such thing ever happening anywhere in the public sector.

    In the public sector, the National Audit Office (or Audit Commission for Local Government) perform both routine and special investigations leading to Public Accounts Committee hearings. Having been on the receiving end of one of these, it is the bureaucratic equivalent to having the press parked outside your house: intrusive and extremely demanding. I am struggling to recall a single private sector entity that has an independent audit and investigation organisation reporting solely to the shareholders rather than the management. Or have I missed something here?

    As an aside, owing to what is clearly a desperate need for improved management skills in the Civil Service, why not apply to join? Taking some of the comments above at face value, public sector management has to be a cakewalk in comparison with the rigours of private sector management, so this ought, surely, to be a doddle for some of those above…?! Oh, and nearly forgot: you get to travel Club Class over 2.5 hours!


    I’d have thought those of you who have to pay UK taxes would rejoice at this appointment. If she messes HMRC up the way she did UKBA then maybe it’ll be 25 years before they come asking for your tax and you’ll have either parted for distant shores or be looking down in heavenly (hopefully) splendour!


    LP, unfortunatly not, this is tax, they will pursue us to the ends of the earth, even if it costs 10x the actual tax bill. that’s someone else’s problem.

    they came after me 6 years ago, for a 5 quid sandwich in Hong Kong on a weekend that I quite rightly booked down as an expense as I was in Asia 2 weeks. we got into an exchange and they threatened a full investigation into the company and its directors tax affairs if we did not agree to remove it from the list..

    I agree regarding its no better in the private sector, once your are at the top short of being sentaced for fraud or jail you will never come down again, incompetence or not


    @ LuganoPirate – 26/03/2013 17:17 GMT

    LP, you ought, surely, to be aware that there are only two certainties in this life: death and taxes!


    So, what most of us knew and said all along has finally been acknowledged by the Government. Given this perhaps we can have a comment, perhaps even an apology, for the this post which was one of a series of post which blamed the staff and their representatives for the the mayhem and national embarrassment of a year ago ……I am however not holding my breath.

    VintageKrug – 27/04/2012 21:23 GMT

    It seems we are to have a fresh thread on this every day. How helpful.

    It should be made clear that it is the PCS Union which is engineering this, by rostering people less efficiently, going slow, not reporting faulty e-gates and IRIS systems and generally being difficult in order to embarrass the government into increasing their pay and reversing essential cuts to budgets as automation becomes increasingly effective in dealing with passport control.

    You’ll note the press release dated last week, which aligns with when the Border became problematic:

    This is nothing to do with cuts, or government incompetence, and everything to do with union politics in the run up to a strike on 10 May which no-one will notice.

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