HMRC reshapes top team

HMRC has announced two senior appointments, including Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia as the new chair of the HMRC board, and the head of a newly created business transformation group

Gadhia, a chartered accountant who trained with EY, is  a member of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Council and former CEO of Virgin Money.

In 2016 she was appointed the UK government’s women in finance champion, and in 2017 she became a founder member of its business diversity and inclusion group. She is chair of the Prince’s Foundation and a trustee of the Tate.

As chair of the HMRC board Gadhia replaces Mervyn Walker, who is stepping down at the end of December 2020 after six years on the board, including the last three as lead non-executive director and chair.

Jim Harra, HMRC chief executive, said: ‘I would like to thank Mervyn for his outstanding contribution to the leadership of HMRC. He has been a tremendous influence on the strategic direction of HMRC throughout his time with us and has always challenged us to keep the needs of our customers at the heart of all we do.

‘Drawing on her deep experience in leading transformative change within the finance sector, Jayne-Anne will help steer HMRC towards our vision of becoming a trusted, modern tax and customs authority.’

Separately, HMRC has announced the formation of a transformation business group as part of its published 10-year tax strategy, to be led by Joanna Rowland in a new director general role.

Rowland has headed the HMRC programme and project management profession since January 2018 and became interim director general for its Covid-19 response last August, leading the implementation support packages such as the coronavirus job retention scheme.

The new transformation group will directly deliver programmes which cut across current HMRC responsibilities, exercising oversight and coordination of the portfolio, both the major changes and the range of projects that will continue to be delivered from other business groups.
It will also lead HMRC’s project delivery function, setting standards and ensuring project professionals are trained, developed and perform to those standards.

While the group gets established, its remit will focus on establishing the standards all projects will work to, continuing to oversee the Covid-related projects and taking leadership of the flagship Making Tax Digital programme.

The aim is for the group to lay out, in a clear multi-year roadmap, the combination of policy, process, people and IT changes necessary to achieve HMRC’s goals.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC deputy chief executive, said: ‘I’m delighted to announce Jo’s appointment, which is critical for delivering the support our customers need in these exceptionally busy and challenging times and will be key in helping us to build trust in our administration of tax and customs.

‘Jo has done an incredible job leading the delivery of the Covid-19 support schemes over the past few months and has substantial previous experience in leading transformation programmes across government.’

Rowland, who will base herself in Portsmouth, said: ‘Over the last few months, HMRC has rightly won plaudits for the work we have done to support customers and the UK economy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve been proud to lead our response and thrilled to see the can-do attitude of our people that has helped us achieve so much in such a short period of time.

‘I want to carry this energy forward into the longer-term transformation of our department to meet the challenges ahead as we recover and reshape our economy in the post-Brexit world and create a world-leading digital tax and customs authority.’

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