HMRC offers £100k for leader to ‘spearhead channel shift’

The tax agency is advertising for a senior manager to take on responsibility for delivering a programme of digitisation that has sparked concerns about viability from MPs and professional bodies

After much recent focus on efforts to drive more users to interact with the department digitally, HM Revenue and Customs is offering a potential £100,000-plus compensation package for a senior manager to lead major digitisation initiatives.

The tax agency is currently recruiting for a new director of digital transformation programmes – with applications closing tonight at 11.55pm. The specified salary range for the post is £97,000 to £130,000, although the advert indicates that the baseline pay packet will be £97,000, plus pension contributions of £26,190.

In the candidate information pack, director general of HMRC’s Change Delivery Group Suzanne Newton – to whom the successful applicant will report – said that the role comes with a remit to drive more service users to digital channels.

“At HMRC, we are committed to transforming the way we operate, to encourage customers to self-serve and make best use of our online services and become a modern tax authority. Our ambition drives us towards enhancing customer satisfaction, increasing productivity, and ensuring compliance through simplification,” she added.

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“A pivotal element in this journey is providing a seamless, omnichannel digital experience for UK taxpayers. We are searching for a visionary director of digital transformation programmes to spearhead our channel shift and digital transformational programmes. This role is at the heart of HMRC’s strategy to shift customer interactions towards digital, self-serve channels, thereby increasing automation and enhancing customer experience. The transition to digital interaction presents a significant opportunity to improve customer service, drive efficiency and reduce operational costs.”

Over the past year or so – and against a backdrop of customer services falling to what MPs have described as an “all-time low” – HMRC has been striving to encourage more citizens and businesses to engage with the department via online platforms. The department even announced an intention to significantly scale back its telephone support services and close some helplines entirely for half the year – before swiftly backtracking on these plans. Since doing so, government has announced that £51m will be put into boosting the performance of its phone lines.

But concerns persist over the speed and viability of HMRC’s plans to drive service digitisation, with three professional bodies recently warning MPs that the department’s digital services currently cannot support its ambitions.

The new appointee will take on responsibility for overseeing work to make such ambitions a reality, in what Newton said represents a singular opportunity for the right candidate.

“This is not just a role but a career-defining opportunity to contribute to the government’s wider focus on customer service, productivity and efficiency,” she said. “Join us in making a tangible difference to millions of UK taxpayers by leading the digital transformation at HMRC.”

Sam Trendall

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