HM Revenue and Customs has said its new case-management system for dealing with complaint handling is on course to be introduced in January.
The tax-collection agency said CHART – short for complaint-handling analysis and reporting tool – will provide “significant improvements” to process for dealing with complaints and make better use of feedback from customers to improve future services.
CHART is a joint project between HMRC and the Adjudicator’s Office, which is an independent tier of complaint handling for HMRC, the Valuation Office Agency and – since 2019 – the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
HMRC acknowledged that CHART is running behind its initial schedule, but expressed optimism it will be in place in early 2023.
“Although the project has experienced delays due to various issues, the department is confident that the pace of work across business areas will result in the successful delivery of the new system in January 2023,” it said.
“The system will provide significant improvements to the complaint-handling processes and enable better use of customer insight to support improvements to customer experience.”
The department’s update came yesterday in its response to adjudicator Helen Megarry’s annual report for 2021-22, which was published in June.
That said the Office of the Adjudicator received 1,029 complaints about HMRC for investigation over the 12 months to April this year, a 19% reduction from the previous year. However, Megarry said 2020-21 numbers had been “temporarily inflated” by large numbers of complaints about the government’s Covid-19 support schemes.
A total of 40 complaints related to the VOA were received in 2021-22, down from 46 in 2020-21. Megarry said 136 complaints about Home Office decisions related to the Windrush Compensation Scheme had been lodged – up from 54 the previous year, when the complaints began coming in.
Cases dealt with by the Adjudicator’s Office are only a fraction of those received by HMRC, because it only deals with grievances that have gone through the department’s internal process but still have not been resolved.
According to HMRC’s latest annual report, the department received 80,216 complaints in 2021-22, up 2.1% on the previous year but a whopping 22% increase on 2019-20.
In its response to the Adjudicator’s Office’s annual report, HMRC said it was “worth noting” that more than 98% of the complaints it received never progressed on to the next tier of investigation.
The department added that Megarry has recognised a “positive change” in HMRC’s approach to learning from complaints.
“HMRC understands the importance of bringing customer insight and feedback into the early stages of design, implementation and delivery of new and existing policy,” the department said.