back to article New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

The UK's incoming Chief Digital Information Officer of HMRC is to recuse herself from making any decisions regarding Microsoft, as she is on sabbatical from the company under a two-year placement with the taxman. Jacky Wright was named as CDIO last week, and will take up the £180,000 per annum role in October 2017. She is …

Page:

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    The words....

    Nudge, nudge, wink, wink came to mind when reading this article.

    Recluse herself? "Say no more"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can Azure you everything is above board...

      "I can Azure you everything is above board, regards my appointment"...

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The words....

      There can be absolutely no bad Word word that could be said about her. She has proven herself to be Excel excellent at every opportunity and we are very much looking forward to her joining our Teams teams. We can assure taxpayers that the Outlook outlook for them and for thieving scum HMRC is indeed bright.

    3. Anomalous Cowshed

      Re: The words....

      In other news...

      Joe Clogs, a senior executive of Google, was yesterday appointed to head the ICO's policy unit. "He will not leave Google, he will be here on a 20 year sabbatical to help us adjust our procedures to the requirements of the modern world" said the head of the ICO in a press release.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The words....

        I often wonder if:

        - they are just ignorant of the real world and how it works

        - they are corrupt beyond redemption

        - the one eyed man is leading the blind

        Unfortunately the latter is most often the case. They actually believe they are doing the right thing, ignorance is bliss.

    4. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The words....

      What are you all doing on here ? Take to the streets, demonstrate your discomfort !

      This is unacceptable, no ifs, buts or maybes ... that person is paid with your taxes !

  2. jake Silver badge

    What could possibly go wrong?

    How do I count the ways ...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      the hens want to hire a fox for the henhouse to help guard against foxes raiding the henhouse...

      "I will recuse myself of all discussions regarding foxes"

      [I think I hear an echo]

      1. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        Bolting the stable door after the horse has eloped?

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: What could possibly go wrong?

          What next a minister for health who believes in homeopathy?

        2. pleb

          Re: What could possibly go wrong?

          Is that a reference to Elop?

  3. LewisCowles1986

    This is getting stupid

    I bet the figures for government IT ignore some costs of being with MS and also probably some public-sector, but non-government spending using Microsoft.

    The real problem with "digitising tax" will be that we have a number of rather stupid rules that need to be simplified in order for an IT system to retain efficiency. If the codified tax laws were applied to all UK citizens it would probably take a data-centre on it's own; this is basically stupid.

    It needs a ground-zero nuke dropped on gov IT, with useful projects like centralised payments system at the fore (because big gov needs to know local gov isn't pilfering).

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: This is getting stupid

      Or a ground-zero nuke dropped on the tax & benefits system.

      1. M7S

        Re: This is getting stupid

        Careful now, that kind of suggestion is not very far from the tweet sent by Paul Chambers (search on this site if you don't remember him). Unless of course you are happy to rely on the legendary sense of humour that HMRC has*

        *Of course the sense of humour they're really waiting for belongs to one Mr. K Dodd, onetime resident of Knotty Ash, who it is hoped will be leaving his to the Exchequer in due course.

        1. Admiral Grace Hopper

          Re: This is getting stupid

          the legendary sense of humour that HMRC has*

          When I was working for the Inland Revenue, the precursor to HMRC, we tried to book Ken Dodd to play our staff social club. His agent didn't think that this was a good idea, for some reason.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Or a ground-zero nuke dropped on the tax & benefits system."

      Somebodies been reading Tom Clancy again.

    3. Robert Grant

      Re: This is getting stupid

      It needs a ground-zero nuke dropped

      All nukes are ground-zero nukes when they detonate.

      1. JimC Silver badge

        Re: All nukes are ground-zero nukes when they detonate.

        *Where* they detonate surely?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All nukes are ground-zero nukes when they detonate

        Including airburst ones?

        1. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: "Including airburst ones?"

          Yes. It's just the point on the Earth's surface under the bomb (perpendicular) when it goes off.

          Not applicable to detonations in space, obviously.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: All nukes are ground-zero nukes when they detonate

          The Hiroshima one IIRC was detonated a hundred meters or more above the surface. The shock wave generated is strong enough to propagate at high speed and create lots of damages anyway. Then if you detonate one 100km above the surface is another matter....

  4. Korev Silver badge
    WTF?

    What will she actually do?

    When presiding over such a large Microsoft shop, if she "recuses" herself from all the decisions in this area, what is there left for her to do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What will she actually do?

      "what is there left for her to do?"

      Make sure they don't install Linux?

      (which is the one thing they should be doing, but won't, move to Linux that is).

      I'm seeing so much that is iffy regards Windows 10, Currently trying to work out what is creating a local administrator account in the "Credentials Manager".

      It seems if you ever use Windows 10 to log into any MS live service (even once), it permanently links the laptop/machine to that account (in some way), even when you manually delete this account info/have only local (non Microsoft live, outlook etc) user accounts, these credentials get recreated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What will she actually do?

        "(which is the one thing they should be doing, but won't, move to Linux that is)."

        HMRC have one of the largest Linux estates in europe, having recently completed a successful migration away from the increasingly dated SLES to RHEL.

        But hey that's boring so why report on it.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: What will she actually do?

          This is the kind of "boring" story that many on here would find interesting and would like to read.

          1. Random Handle

            Re: What will she actually do?

            >This is the kind of "boring" story that many on here would find interesting and would like to read.

            Noticed HMRC've been advertising quite a few Linux/Unix devops jobs of late with a very hopeful skillset and on the kind of money you can make chirping out websites for Fleebayers...

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: What will she actually do?

              "Noticed HMRC've been advertising quite a few Linux/Unix devops jobs of late with a very hopeful skillset"

              Given they're using RHEL I'm guessing "Ability to configure and manage systemd with proven track record of sorting out its endless screwups" will be near the top of that skillset list.

      2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

        Re: What will she actually do?

        Currently trying to work out what is creating a local administrator account in the "Credentials Manager".

        What, you mean something other than IE actually supports the Credentials Manager?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What will she actually do?

          Win10's Credentials Manager is pretty creepy...it has to be said. Certainly seems to have a mind of its own. It would nice if it said who/why it re-created those credentials, that you just deleted and why it keeps those local administrator credentials in place permanently, after they are no longer in use. Doesn't seem very good regards security to me.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: What will she actually do?

      Basically, HMRC got a body-rental consultant from MS who promises to avoid any MS decision? This deal gives a whole new meaning to the revolving doors between the public and the private sector - now you don't need to pretend to leave your previous job.

      Also, what in her contract with MS will still apply while paid by HMRC?

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: What will she actually do?

      "what is there left for her to do?"

      Just sit back and collect the 180k i reckon

    4. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: What will she actually do?

      What is left for her to do, since Microsoft pervades just about everything in one way or another, is to collect her pay cheque each month.

      £180,000 per year to sit on your arse being recused. It's a very nice job, if you can get it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This stinks...

    ...and as aver, we know it stinks, but can do nothing about it.

    HMRC is more crooked than any dodgy accountant.

    1. LewisCowles1986

      Re: This stinks...

      but less useful ;)

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: This stinks...

      Yeah, run a Ponzi scheme for a few hundred million and you go to jail. Run a Ponzi scheme for an major economic power [stop laughing] and they give you a title.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here...

    On the other hand, something really stinks! Could be about cloud / server-desktop tender favoritism. But also could be much worse. Consider that in this new era of Tech Dystopia we find ourselves in, anything is possible.

    To see what I mean this is worth a read. Mostly concerns Facebook/Google, but with M$ in on the big-slurp-game, what else is new in privacy nightmares:

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product

    At the very least HMRC and M$ could work-in some kind of tax-spying / offshore-money-slurp layer into Windows-10 to catch out tax cheats etc... Not that I'm against the idea in principle and for fairness... But hold on a second...

  7. Redstone
    Meh

    I can see it from her point of view...

    Government IT projects are something of a poison chalice. If, by some miracle against all the odds you produce a working system somewhere close to on-time and only a bit over budget, there's no glory in it. Why not keep your real job open?

    Mind you, this state of affairs is a pretty sad place to find our govt. IT

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: I can see it from her point of view...

      Mind you, this state of affairs is a pretty sad place to find our govt. IT ..... Redstone

      A place and space delivered to the nation, and other nations too, by intellectually bankrupt politicised leaderships, Redstone, dependent upon crass and crashing media systems for survival. Such then guarantees always playing catch up to novel unusual events/irregular and unconventional meme plays at their work in alternative fields of endeavour which discover ....... well, Immaculate Proprietary Intellectual Property Source Wells are AIMines you will have great difficulty believing are freely available and not nearly as rare as petrified competition and perverse opposition would rather it be.

      Or do you deny and disagree that such is the true way of such things?

      Thought for the Day on the 0Day ...... "The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks." ― Christopher Hitchens

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why not keep your real job open?"

      You can keep your real job and refuse the other one. Even if you get paid £180,000 for doing very little.

      Then someone complains why people complain about "elites".... if I had to work for the government while being still employed by my actual company, I'm sure my company will sell me for £180,000 - and I'll just see a fraction of that.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No corruption here, nothing to see, move along please...

    Stinks more than a rotting sheep carcass on a truck at the border of Turkey.

  9. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    £180,000 per annum role

    I assume that this salary will be reduced pro rata to take account of the work that she can't do because it involves Microsoft in some way?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: £180,000 per annum role

      So we will be supplying her coffee and nothing else?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £180,000 per annum role

        As long as it's not from a coffee machine running some form of embedded windows, she won't be able to stipulate any of the options.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is great, can we get a Google exec to oversee the IPB? Maybe a Facebook exec for the government citizen portal?

    Lets just privatise the Government, I'm sure we could find a company to run it more efficiently.

    1. ScottishYorkshireMan

      Thought it already was? Those guys running it get sweetheart tax deals and take morons to sporting events.

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Yes, but a Facebook exec could run the General Register Office directly out of FB profiles (there's a good chance after all people keep them much more up-to-date themselves), and issue passports, without a FB profile you can't get one!

        Or Google will be happy to run schools directly, for example, and keep all the health records. The sky is the ceiling!

    2. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "Lets just privatise the Government"

      You're about 40 years late to that party.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      May could replace the cabinet with Alexa...might get less dissent...

  11. John70

    What is it with "Digital"?

    What is it with sticking "Digital" into job titles and department names?

    Is it non-IT people using buzz-words to make them think they know what they talking about instead of understanding what digital actually means?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is it with "Digital"?

      "Digital" has a specific meaning within HMRC, denoting that the CIO also has responsibility for delivery of the new digital taxation systems.

      Remember, HMRC is a pretty retro organisation in places. Only a couple of years ago any mail you sent to them was forwarded to a central mail sorting facility whereupon it was physically re-posted to whichever department was processing it whereupon they would then scan it (usually in some unreadable image format) into their local case management process (usually some godforsaken always-full windows file share).

      Likewise there were (and still are) plenty of processes that involve physically handling bits of paper. That's what they mean when they say "digital" i.e. not physical.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019