HMRC staff run up £1.7m trips bill

HM Revenue and Customs staff ran up a bill of more than £1.7 million on trips
abroad last year, according to official figures.

Some £1,751,257 went on flights, accommodation, and meals for overseas visits
during the 2007/08 financial year, according to official figures, the
and Journal reported.

The true spend will be significantly higher because the government department
claimed it could not supply details of hotel bills for the first three months,
the newspaper said.

Treasury Minister Jane Kennedy was quoted as saying: ‘The duties of HMRC
staff cover a wide range of posts and some roles in particular require overseas
travel and accommodation in support of key departmental objectives – for
example, EU policy development, enforcement of prohibition and restrictions and
mutual administrative assistance.’

She said facts on where officials travelled could not be disclosed for ”
policy and operational reasons” – though similar details have been released

Shadow chief Treasury secretary Philip Hammond, who obtained the figures
using parliamentary questions, said they raised questions in the wake of
blunders such as the loss of the entire child benefit database, the Press and
Journal added.

the full article

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