Clasper set to leave HMRC

MIKE CLASPER will leave HM Revenue & Customs by the end of the year after a series of high-profile controversies, The Telegraph reports.

Head-hunter Odgers Berndtson has been entrusted with the task of finding a replacement for Clasper, who assumed the role in August 2008.

His departure, along with that of tax commissioner Dave Hartnett and the arrival in January of chief executive Lin Homer, means that all three of the top jobs at the taxman have changed inside a year.

Clasper was previously at BAA – the owner of Heathrow – which he left to become HMRC’s chairman in 2007 after it was sold to Ferrovial in a £10.1bn deal.

His aim when taking the post was to restore the public’s faith in HRMC following a security scare in 2007 when an unencrypted disc containing a list of child benefit recipients was lost.

Nonetheless, he found himself apologising for the treatment of taxpayers after criticism from the Treasury’s select committee last July. In its report at the time, MPs highlighted bad management, demoralised staff, excessive job cuts and increasingly complex tax laws, leading to the apology.

The Revenue had attracted criticism for alleged close relationships with large companies, including Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, leading to accusations of “sweetheart deals” with big business.

No date has yet been set for Clasper’s departure.

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