New directors general at HMRC to boost tax department’s customer service

Written by Richard Johnstone on 26 July 2017 in News

Appointment of Angela MacDonald and Penny Ciniewicz follows departures of key staff Ruth Owen and Jennie Granger earlier this year

HM Revenue and Customs has appointed two new directors general to its customer services and customer compliance groups to lead “vital” improvements across the organisation.

Angela MacDonald, currently operational excellence director in HMRC, is to step up to lead the customer services group, which oversees most of HMRC’s interaction with individual taxpayers, tax credit recipients, and small and mid-sized businesses. She will replace Ruth Owen, who announced her departure in April.


The non-ministerial department also announced that Penny Ciniewicz, the current chief executive of the Valuation Office Agency that values commercial properties for business rate bill calculations, will move to HMRC to lead its customer compliance group. This group covers HMRC’s counter-tax avoidance and fraud investigation functions, as well as tax compliance for both individuals and firms.

Ciniewicz replaces Jennie Granger, who left the department in June.

The new senior appointments will play a key role in implementing customer service reforms set out by HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson last year to ensure the organisation is “fit for the future”.

The major restructuring, which placed the department's directorates into three groups, was announced after heavy criticism from MPs on the Public Accounts Committee of the service it provides to taxpayers .

MacDonald and Ciniewicz will lead two of these groups, with the third – the customer strategy and tax design group – continuing to be led by Jim Harra.

The appointments follow what HMRC called “an extensive competition across the civil service and public and private sectors”.

Thompson said: “[MacDonald and Ciniewicz] bring a wealth of capability, leadership and experience with them, and will have vital roles to play in helping build our future and achieve our vision of becoming a world-class organisation.”

It was also announced that Melissa Tatton, currently director for individuals and small business compliance at HMRC, will replace Ciniewicz at the VOA.

MacDonald will take up her new post on 7 August. Ciniewicz and Tatton will take up their roles on 4 September.

About the author

Richard Johnstone is CSW's deputy and online editor and tweets as @CSW_DepEd

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