RCTU interest is confined to any possible changes to HMRC spending allocations and the potential for new work and the associated funding for that. We believe that further bids will be made for increased funding of Transformation but are concerned that this is still putting additional money towards an idea that has been criticised by both the NAO and the RCTU.
This comes at a time when operational compliance is going through problems with staffing numbers that are predicated on reducing as a result of the previous Spending Review complicated by reduced productivity and issues around where staff are recruited due to Transformation. The reports we have are concerning especially when we see the incorrect use of “business criticality” rules to prevent staff moving from a potential redundancy situation to a confirmed post. These matters are all linked and are a direct consequence of flawed planning and thinking – we note but are not commenting in detail for now on the impact of the new managing sickness absence procedures which where a written waring is issued – this also stops people moving on a level transfer basis from a potential redundancy situation. We will write more on this in the coming week.
The funding of the department could be effected by a reduced settlement as has been mooted in the press that impacts on all Civil Service departments. This is a concern where the need for pay reform and a decent and fair pay settlement is now critical. So, with severe operational constraints, pressures in customer facing sections and pay (let alone the Transformation situation) we are approaching the tipping point we have long feared.
It is more vital than ever that the voice of staff is heard and the reality of the situation is able to be put directly to senior managers. Only by increasing the membership of the RCTU can we ever hope for rational and real dialogue before it really is too late.