Taking Stock – Customs & Excise staff get their figures in a mix.

All that detailed examination of VAT returns and chasing ciggie smugglers has had a devastating effect on the chaps over at Customs & Excise.

In fact they’ve had to reissue their entire annual report because, of all things, the page numbers were all wrong.

A mix-up at the printers meant that all the references to financial statements and statistics in the main ‘Review of the year section’ failed to correspond with the actual pagination of the figures.

When HMCE bosses realised, they ordered a reprint sorting out the mess.

Now we at TS know that customs boss Richard Broadbent is a man of reforming zeal after cutting the number of people on his management board.

But it seems he may now be missing people who can count.

A typically dry Whitehall source told TS: ‘It did not inspire confidence in the Customs & Excise computations and statistics to have annual report which got the simplest of figures – the page numbers and references wrong.’

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