HMRC seeks £160k deputy chief exec after Harra’s promotion

Department’s second perm sec will be responsible for HMRC’s operations and deliver transformation plan

Photo: HMRC

By Richard Johnstone

14 Feb 2020

HM Revenue and Customs has launched the hunt for the department’s second most senior official, with applications sought to run the department’s operations as deputy chief executive.

The post, which will also double as second permanent secretary, became vacant when Jim Harra was promoted to the department’s top job in October following Sir Jon Thompson’s departure.

The job advert for the role, which is advertised with a salary of £150,000-£160,000 and will be based in the department’s 100 Parliament Street headquarters in London, said the successful applicant “will have a pivotal leadership role responsible for implementing the departmental strategy”.


In particular, the deputy chief exec will be accountable for HMRC's operational arm in its our customer compliance and customer services groups, leading over 50,000 people working in these areas.

They will also be responsible for overseeing the department’s transformation plans, once described by Thompson as the “the biggest organisational transformation in Europe”. In particular, the second perm sec will oversee the Making Tax Digital drive to reform tax collection, as well as rolling out the department’s new customs declaration service ready for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, and completing the tax agency's office rationalisation programme to create 13 regional hubs across the UK.

The job advert says the person sought for the role should have “outstanding and inclusive leadership and influencing skills with a proven ability to build and engage high performing leadership teams, build leadership capability across organisational boundaries”.

They will need considerable experience of leadership in organisations with complex delivery systems; an ability to lead experts from a wide range of functional and professional backgrounds; and experience of successfully delivering a complex organisational transformation programme, ideally involving digital innovation and partnerships.

The candidate will also need strong communication skills and be able to establish and maintain trusting relationships with ministers, high-level officials and businesses, and to act as a role model for the organisation commitments to be fair and kind, and not create fear in others.

This comes after the department published a behaviour guide that sets out a series of commitments to ensure staff treat each other with respect. The guide was produced following a workplace culture review by former John Lewis personnel director Laura Whyte last year that found  “swearing, breaching confidentiality, mocking colleagues, seemed to be unremarkable".

Tge deadline for applications for the post is 5 April, with a series of interviews and assessments planned for selected candidates until the end of May.

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