MoD chief Thompson to take over at HMRC

25 Feb 16

Ministry of Defence permanent secretary Jon Thompson is to take the helm as chief executive at Revenue & Customs in a leadership shake up.

In appointments confirmed by prime minister David Cameron yesterday, HMRC’s current tax assurance commissioner Edward Troup will take on the role of executive chair and First Permanent Secretary at HM Revenue and Customs.

Under the new leadership structure, which is being introduced following the departure of Lin Homer, Thompson will chair HMRC’s executive committee and be the department’s accounting officer, while Troup will chair its board. The arrangements for assuring large tax settlements in HMRC will be reviewed following Troup’s appointment as executive chair. This regime has been under scrutiny following criticism of the tax deal reached with Google.

The appointments have been made with the approval of Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and chancellor George Osborne.

Thompson is a CIPFA member who has worked as director general of finance in the department and prior to that director general of corporate services at the then Department of Children, Schools and Families. He was also head of the Government Finance Profession at the Treasury for three years until April 2011. He will join HMRC shortly.

Confirming the appointments, Heywood said Thompson’s experience of leading one of the biggest departments in government, coupled with his strong financial background, make him “strongly placed to deliver HMRC’s ambitious transformation plans, large-scale operations and modern customer services”.

On Troup’s appointment, he added: “Edward’s deep tax expertise and long experience in both HMRC and Treasury make him an excellent choice to lead the department through an important phase of change and amid unprecedented public interest in taxation.”

Osborne welcomed both as “exceptional appointments”.

He said: “We have one of the country’s pre-eminent tax experts and ‎an outstanding civil service leader with experience of transforming large organisations.

“Edward’s wealth of experience in tax and Jon’s operational and financial expertise, most recently as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, will prove a huge asset to HMRC as it improves its customer service and continues its vital work to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion.”

Thompson said it was a wrench to leave the MoD, but he was excited to be taking up the challenge of leading the delivery of the department that raises the revenues that pay for the nation’s public services.

“With 50 million individual and 5 million business customers, HMRC operates at a scale that few organisations can match,” he added.

Troup, who had previously worked as director general of tax and welfare at the Treasury, added that he looked forward to ensuring delivery of the ambitious plan agreed with ministers in November’s Spending Review.

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