HMRC chief Jon Thompson to head operation delivery profession

Appointment means government’s biggest professional grouping will be one of only two headed up by a departmental perm sec

Photo: ParliamentTV

By Richard Johnstone

20 Feb 2018

Jon Thompson, the permanent secretary and chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs, has been named the head of the operational delivery profession in government.

The head of the non-ministerial department responsible for tax collection and tax credits was named to the role on Friday, replacing Andrew Rhodes as the head of the largest professional group in government.

Rhodes, the director general of operations for the Department for Work and Pensions, is leaving government to join Swansea University as registrar and chief operating officer from April.


The head of the profession, which support civil servants who run frontline services such as jobcentres as well as processing visas, passports and driving licences, helps lead the development of operational staff, who account for more than 50% of the civil service workforce.

Cabinet secretary and head of the civil service Sir Jeremy Heywood on Friday announced Thompson’s appointment to the post, which he will undertake alongside his work at HMRC.

I’m delighted to welcome @JonThompsonHMRC as the new Head of @OpsDelProf, @UKCivilService’s largest profession. Jon will be a passionate champion for the profession, building on the excellent work of former head @andrewrhodesdwp.

— Sir Jeremy Heywood (@HeadUKCivServ) February 16, 2018

Thompson added that he was “delighted to take up this vital role for tens of thousands of civil servants delivering public services” and to build on Rhodes’s work.

Delighted to take up this vital role for tens of thousands of civil servants delivering public services and build on the great work of @andrewrhodesdwp @OpsDelProf

— Jon Thompson (@JonThompsonHMRC) February 17, 2018

The appointment of Thompson makes operational delivery only the second of Whitehall’s nine recognised professions to be represented by a departmental permanent secretary. The other is the policy profession, which is headed by the Department of Health’s Chris Wormald. The other profession heads – across digital, project delivery, human resources, commercial, communications, finance and legal – are at director or director general level.

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