Hartnett makes way for Clasper

HMRC’s plans to be more business-like moved a step closer with the
appointment of private equity supremo Mike Clasper as chairman.

Clasper, former managing director of Terra Firma, has been appointed after a
six-month search following Paul Gray’s resignation over the lost child benefit
records scandal.

‘I think it’s a brave step forward. We are going to get someone from the
commercial world,’ said Mike Warburton, senior tax partner at Grant Thornton.

Although, he added, it was a question of ‘suck it and see’ as to whether the
department’s new structure with a board of directors ‘works out’.

Clasper will strengthen the tax office’s corporate governance, provide
oversight to the executive committee and departmental board and engage
stakeholders. He wants to see HMRC in the ‘vanguard of public delivery’
providing a ‘top quality and reliable’ service.

He takes over from acting chairman Dave Hartnett in August and will work a
three-day week, while Hartnett becomes acting chief executive while the Treasury
searches for a permanent candidate.

Many tax experts hope Hartnett will return to his role as director general of
business where he was widely respected for his tax avoidance work.

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