Hartnett turns to business for expert help

In a move revealed to staff two weeks ago, the acting chairman of
HMRC Dave Hartnett said he
had brought in four top-level advisers ‘to provide specialist advice on
achieving the department’s capability review and data security goals’. The four
are Kheraj; former CBI chief economist Kate Barker CBE; former HBOS group
finance officer Phil Hodkinson; and retired Unilever CFO Rudy Markham.

The group will work closely with senior officials and attend the executive
committee meetings for six months, as lessons emerge from PwC chairman Kieran
Poynter’s data review. The department’s capability review identified confused
management accountabilities as the root of HMRC’s problems. It is thought this
is where the advisers’ views are most keenly sought.

Kheraj took a robust view of Barclays’ tax obligations when he was CFO,
warning government that ‘arbitrary changes to tax or regulation could result in
the UK being a less competitive place to locate important parts of the financial
services industry’.

Barclays also agreed a £300m transfer pricing settlement in 2006 and was
forced to hand over details of clients’ offshore accounts in HMRC’s drive
against evasion.

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