'Reputation audit' ordered for HM Customs
Whitehall officials have asked a private company to carry out a 'reputation audit' of Customs & Excise.
Communications consultancy Fishburn Hedges has been hired to carry out the audit, which is aimed at restoring Customs’ damaged reputation.
According to the Financial Times, more than 60 individuals and organisations, including senior judges, police chiefs, lawyers, and members of the security and intelligence services, will be approached to provide an assessment of HM Customs’ activities, as a prelude to a major shake-up of its regulatory framework.
The audit is expected to be completed by February, and will be handed to David Varney, executive chairman of the merged HM Customs & Excise and Inland Revenue ahead of the consolidation in the spring.
HM Customs is keen to restore public faith in the organisation after criticism from MPs and the legal profession over bungled prosecutions, and allegations of perverting the course of justice.