Hodge to meet Gus over HMRC

Sir Gus O'Donnell will meet with public accounts committee chair Margaret Hodge following an evidence session in which she raised concerns over the accountability of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

By Civil Service World

19 Oct 2011

Hodge suggested that HMRC's permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett - who is also currently its interim accounting officer - had previously lied to the Treasury select committee about his involvement in a controversial deal on unpaid tax with Goldman Sachs.

Hartnett also faced criticism because he was not only involved in negotiations over corporate tax settlements, but sits on the High Risk Corporate Programme Board and has a further role overseeing settlements as a commissioner for revenue and customs. Several PAC members challenged his position that he could not discuss details of corporate tax settlements because of legal advice given to the department around taxpayer confidentiality.

"You are the guy who does the deals, you are the guy who sits on the board that vets the deals, you are the commissioner who vets the deals, and you are the guy who decides what comes into the public domain," Hodge said to Hartnett, telling him that PAC is not able to hold him accountable for value for money.

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