back to article HMRC IT boss quit £185k job for more cash

HMRC IT chief Mark Dearnley walked away from his £185,000-a-year job because the private sector paid better, MPs heard yesterday. Speaking at a Commons public accounts committee hearing on Wednesday, Jon Thompson, chief executive of the UK tax body, was asked why Dearnley quit his role, which involved overseeing the agency's …

  1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Not surprising...

    All else being equal, if someone came along and offered you significantly more money at another job, I doubt many here would turn it down...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Not surprising...

      Um, "All else being equal" is rather unlikely, at least in a role more interesting than Dogsbody. In real life, how many of us have never taken a pay cut to do something more interesting, or to improve work/life balance, or somesuch? I was very happy to take a cut from £17k to £13k to move from pointless industry[1] in a boring location to interesting academic research in a location I loved.

      (funnily enough I'm back on minimum wage today, and I wouldn't change it for £185k if the latter required me to move to London - where the £185k jobs are).

      [1] No I wouldn't claim industry in general was pointless. Some of it is.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Not surprising...

      But of course some of the other factors are job satisfaction and how you feel about your employers and their business.

      Would you go and do an interesting job helping to make bombs for export to Saudi Arabia even if they paid you five times your present salary? I wouldn't.

      In general it's good to have people working for the public sector who actually believe in what they are doing (yes, even collecting tax can actually be a good thing), and who see their job as a form of public service. So long as they are competent those are the people we want, the ones happy to do a good and worthwhile job for a sufficient salary, rather than just chase the cash so they can buy ever more expensive trinkets.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Not surprising...

      I suspect being the IT boss of HMRC is a job that a lot of otherwise qualfied candidates wouldn't do whatever they were paid.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Not surprising...

        its not surprising because he's got the best of both worlds

        I suspect his current role was about to be comes highly embarrasing due to failed projects and blown budgets, and his head would be on the block. So rather than deal with that - or even attempt to salvage the situation , because it looks it looks tricky - better to jump ship and get a plush new job leaving that mess behind for someone else to clean up and/or take the heat.

        if you can get paid more at the same time great - out of the frying pan , into the , er , better paid , cooler pan thing .. metaphor wearing thin ... alert ...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If he is the numpty that decided to put part of HMRC on Google email (yes, seriously) I reckon he's bailing before anyone realises just what a problem that is.

    1. Ralph B

      Google email

      > he's bailing before anyone realises just what a problem that is.

      Would you care to explain what sort of problem that might be? Privacy? Interoperability? Availability?

      I've only the experience of moving my personal domain's email from my own server to Google mail (more than 5 years ago) and it saved me a lot of grey hair.

      (If it's a problem with security you anticipate, you can relax. Due to The Special Relationship, we have no secrets from our American cousins.)

    2. 0laf Silver badge

      The Cabinet Office is on GCloud for everything now as well. In fact where ever you see a @digital.xxx.gov.uk address that's in Google.

      And yes you have to send them sensitive things knowing it's being exported to a GCloud instance in the States.

  3. Doc Ock

    So did Mark Dearnley take a job with one of the companies bidding for HMRC or other government contracts ?

    You may very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

  4. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Well, you would, wouldn't you?

  5. TRT Silver badge

    If the private sector is an indicator of free market competition...

    why aren't salaries there floating DOWN to civil sector levels?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If the private sector is an indicator of free market competition...

      Because IT execs are not competing for jobs, jobs are competing for IT execs - as evidenced by this poaching / evacuation exercise...

  6. Velv Silver badge
    Terminator

    I wonder if he's truly an employee of the new "employer" or if he's contracted for his consultancy services through an intermediary...

    Probably the self same big name Accountancy and Consulting firms who will be the only ones left to supply contract staff once they've advised the government on wiping out the little guy through IR35.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It is also bringing 300 Capgemini and Fujitsu staff in-house via its privately owned, HMRC-run limited company."

    Bets on that being sold within 5 years, probably to cap.

  8. kmac499

    Golden Handcuffs ??

    Maybe if HMG used some of the pivate sector golden handcuffs concepts of terminal bonus for success, no competition clauses to avoid anyone jumping ship to other companies competing in the same space; or some way of stopping gamekeepers becoming poachers.

    All of this being made 100% crystal clear at the interview.. OK it migh cost us more but at least we would have people who are prepared to stay the course.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Golden Handcuffs ??

      "no competition clauses to avoid anyone jumping ship to other companies competing in the same space"

      Governments tend to treat taxation as a monopoly*. There are no companies competing with HMRC, at least not within the UK.

      *Note that they don't achieve this when it comes to taxation of multi-national companies.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He was on a 3-year contract, he did the 3 years, decided not to renew but to move on.

    Some might opine that you don't earn the big money by hanging around for your mistakes to catch up with you, but it might just be he couldn't face another 3 years at HMRC.

  10. AlanT1

    Get out before the crash

    The move from Aspire is one black hole. A fail after all budgets have been eaten up by the massive gravity of the situation.

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