Our governance

The main decision-making, executive and managerial bodies at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


HMRC was established by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act (CRCA) 2005, which gives the legal powers and responsibilities of the department to Commissioners appointed by the Queen.

HMRC’s status as a non-ministerial department is intended to ensure that the administration of the tax system is fair and impartial.

Jim Harra is the First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive, responsible for delivering the departmental strategy and for the organisation’s performance.

Angela MacDonald is the Second Permanent Secretary and Deputy Chief Executive, responsible for customer service and compliance and enforcement activity across all taxes.

Together with the Executive Committee they are responsible for running HMRC.

We have a Lead Non-Executive, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who chairs the HMRC Board.

Together with the board, the Lead Non-Executive provides challenge and advice to the Permanent Secretaries and the Executive Committee on the design of HMRC’s strategy and on its implementation, including reviewing and challenging performance against the department’s business plan.

More information on how we are structured can be found in our organisation chart, and in the Governance Statement of our Annual Report and Accounts (see pages 102 to 112).

HMRC Commissioners

Our Commissioners are responsible for the collection and management of revenue, the enforcement of prohibitions and restrictions and other functions, such as the payment of tax credits. They exercise these functions in the name of the Crown.

The Commissioners are also entitled to appoint officers of Revenue and Customs who must comply with their directions. The way in which the Commissioners conduct their business is governed by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act. Decisions relating to the resolution of our largest and most sensitive cases are decided by 3 Commissioners, chaired by the Tax Assurance Commissioner.

HMRC has 6 Commissioners:

HMRC Board

The role of the HMRC Board is critical to our success as a non-ministerial department. The board consists of the Lead Non-Executive, the Non-Executive board Members, the Permanent Secretaries and the Chief Finance Officer as the standing members, with other executives attending as the agenda on risks and decisions dictate.

The board is chaired by Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, as Lead Non-Executive, and helps to guide the department strategically by drawing upon wide-ranging public and private sector expertise.

The board provides challenge, advice and assurance to the Permanent Secretaries and the executive team on developing and implementing their strategy, business plan and performance against that plan. The board is advisory and does not have a role in operational decision-making, tax policy or individual taxpayer matters.

Board members

The board comprises of members of HMRC’s Executive Committee and Non-Executive Directors.

Chair: Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Lead Non-Executive Director

Members
Jim Harra - First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive
Angela MacDonald - Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary
Justin Holliday - Chief Finance Officer and Tax Assurance Commissioner
Alice Maynard, Non-Executive Director
Juliette Scott, Non-Executive Director
Michael Hearty, Non-Executive Director
Patricia Gallan, Non-Executive Director
Paul Morton, Non-Executive Director
David Cooper, Non-Executive Director

The board is assisted by 2 further non-executives who serve on the its committees:

Reporting

The Lead Non-Executive leads an annual evaluation of the performance of the board.

The department reports on how the board operates in the Corporate Governance Statement within the annual report and accounts. This includes the attendance record at board meetings.

Board responsibilities

The board’s role is to help HMRC deliver its agenda and maximise its performance. The board provides challenge and assurance to the Permanent Secretaries and Executive Committee on the design of HMRC’s strategy and on its implementation including reviewing and challenging performance against the department’s business plan. Non-executive board members provide an external perspective and use their skills and experience to advise the department.

The board does not have a role in day-to-day operational decision-making, nor in tax policy or individual taxpayer matters.

The board provides:

  • challenge: reviewing and challenging the department’s business plan and performance against that plan, with particular reference to agreed strategic priorities
  • expertise: providing wider public and private sector expertise to inform the delivery of strategy and to improve HMRC’s performance; It also advises the Chief Executive on senior appointments
  • strategy: assuring that HMRC’s strategic direction is clear and deliverable, taking into account risk and focusing on the long-term success of the Department and value for the taxpayer
  • assurance: providing the Chief Executive, as Principal Accounting Officer, with assurance that the financial statements are factually accurate, that risk management processes are robust, and that control processes across HMRC are strong and appropriate
  • stakeholder views: reflecting the views of HMRC’s external stakeholders; supporting HMRC to develop stakeholder communications plans; and using the cross-government network of Non-Executive directors to bring insight and intelligence to support the Executive Committee in identifying challenges and opportunities

Meetings

The board meets monthly.

Non-Executive board members

The non-executives on the board bring with them a wealth of experience from a range of backgrounds, including data analytics, Human Resources, IT, accountancy and the tax profession. Their skills and professional background brings an external perspective to the advice the board gives to help shape strategy and challenge performance.

The Non-Executive board members were appointed following recruitment exercises held in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance.

Board sub-committees

The board’s committee structure consists of the board and 3 supporting committees:

  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • People Committee
  • Customer Experience Committee

Work is delegated to board committees, where smaller groups of non-executives and Executive Committee members can examine issues in more detail and present their findings to the board for discussion and conclusion.

Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee provides assurance to the board and the Principal Accounting Officer on the accuracy and precision of financial statements and the strength of risk management and control processes across HMRC.

Its scope covers all aspects of HMRC business and aspects relating to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), as escalated. The chair of the Audit and Risk Committee will attend at least one meeting annually of the VOA Audit and Risk Committee.

The committee advises the board and the Principal Accounting Officer on:

  • assurance processes and actions in relation to management of risks in an HMRC context
  • strategic processes for risk, control and governance of the accounting policies, the accounts, the Tax Assurance Commissioner’s annual report and the annual report of the organisation, including the Resource Accounts, Trust Statement and the National Insurance Fund Accounts
  • recommending follow-up action in response to reviews of processes in settled tax cases
  • the planned activity and results of both internal and external audit
  • the adequacy of management response to issues identified by audit activity
  • when necessary, proposals for tendering audit services from contractors who provide audit services to the department
  • anti-fraud policies, whistleblowing
  • processes and arrangements for special investigations

Audit and Risk Committee membership

Chair: Michael Hearty, Non-Executive Director

Members:

The First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive will be invited to each meeting and should attend periodically. The Chief Finance Officer will be expected to attend every full meeting, as will the Head of Internal Audit, the Head of Risk, and a representative from the National Audit Office. Other executives attend as the agenda dictates.

People Committee

The People Committee provides support to the board and executive management on people related issues, including delivery of the ‘Great Place to Work’ strategic objective, the effectiveness of our overarching employment framework and associated workforce metrics and risk.

The committee provides quality support and robust challenges by:

  • holding the department to account for the delivery of being a ‘Great Place to Work’
  • helping to identify priority areas in employee experience
  • examining workforce related performance issues
  • bringing best practice from forward-thinking organisations into discussions
  • using skills and experience to examine effectiveness of departmental employee listening strategy

People Committee membership:

Chair: Alice Maynard, Non-Executive Director

Membership:

Customer Experience Committee

The Customer Experience Committee assists the Commissioners of HMRC in their statutory obligation to report annually on the extent to which HMRC has demonstrated the standards of behaviour and values included in the HMRC Charter and complies with the legal obligation to periodically review the content.

The purpose of the committee is to support and challenge ExCom on customer experience-related issues and to help the department deliver on its strategic objectives.

The committee does this by:

  • challenging and supporting HMRC to tackle high level risks to the department
  • examining planned changes to ensure that the impact on customers has been sufficiently considered
  • providing advice on how relevant policies, strategies and practices can be improved
  • identifying priority areas in the end-to-end customer experience where improvements are necessary

The committee publishes a report each year that sets out HMRC’s performance against the HMRC Charter, and includes progress and priorities for further improvement.

Customer Experience Committee membership

Below is a list of the Non-Executive Directors of HMRC and independent advisers making up the Customer Experience Committee, along with positions they hold and their experience.

Name Current positions and experience
Juliette Scott (Current Chair) Juliette is a non-executive director for HMRC. She is also a non-executive board member at Versus Arthritis (formerly known as Arthritis Research UK) and provides advisory services through her consultancy business. Juliette was previously at eBay – firstly on the board of eBay UK as the Director of Customer Insight, and in her last role she was responsible for customer insight and analytics across Europe. Juliette was introduced into the world of data insight through her time at customer data science company dunnhumby, where she worked in senior roles across many areas at Tesco.
Michael Hearty Michael is an non-executive director for HMRC. He is a highly experienced, professionally qualified accountant, with extensive strategic and operational leadership experience up to the level of Director General in a range of large and complex UK government departments and agencies. Michael was also a Director General on the Board of the Welsh Government, the executive arm of devolved government in Wales until 2015, where he provided strategic advice and challenge to both the First Minister and the Finance Minister for Wales on a range of strategic planning, finance, corporate governance and performance matters. Currently, Michael holds a range of Non-Executive and independent adviser roles with a number of organisations including HMRC, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) in Wales.
Patricia Gallan QPM Patricia is a non-executive director for HMRC. She is a former British police officer who was Assistant Commissioner Specialist Crime and Operations of the Metropolitan Police in London until 2018. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations – Security and Protection) and also Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Professionalism) from 2012 to 2015, Assistant Chief Constable (Operations Support) of Merseyside Police from February 2006 to 2012, and also served as temporary Deputy Chief Constable of the force from October 2009 to February 2010. She was Assistant Chief Constable at the National Crime Squad from January 2005 to February 2006.
Jean-François Bessiron Jean-François is an independent adviser on the Customer Experience Committee. He is a global leader with more than 20 years’ experience in supply chain/commercial operations and digital marketing and technology. He has held senior leadership positions with FTSE100 and NASDAQ quoted companies at Kingfisher, TechData, Amazon and most recently at Groupon, where he is International Vice President.
Steven Martin Steven is an independent adviser on the Customer Experience Committee. He is currently Vice President of Data Partnerships Europe and APAC at The Trade Desk following his recent move from LiveRamp, where he was Managing Director of International Data. His role focuses on helping clients to make the most of both their own customer data and other data they can access about their customers from partners and suppliers.
Emma Orr Emma is an independent adviser on the Customer Experience Committee. She developed an expert career in digital in the early 2000s by helping disrupted industries and global brands, such as Prudential (Finance) and Hearst (Publishing), adapt to the new online world. Emma then moved into e-commerce in 2008, leading customer growth at ASOS.com and then at The John Lewis Partnership. With an obvious passion for digital transformation, Emma joined Google in 2014 as an adviser to multinational private companies, first on Data Regulation and SaaS solutions and now leading Customer Experience for Google Cloud technology.
Mark Evans Mark is an independent adviser on the Customer Experience Committee. He sits on the Executive Committee of Direct Line Group (DLG) as Managing Director for Marketing and Digital. Prior to DLG Mark worked at Mars, 118118 and HSBC. Mark sits on the Board of the Marketing Society and is chair of the Advertising Association’s Front Foot. He is also chair of the School of Marketing, and in 2016 founded the Sprintathon – a charity event which has now raised over £700,000 for Stand Up To Cancer. In 2018 Mark was awarded the Marketing Society Leader of the Year award.
Nicola Harris Nicola is an independent adviser on the Customer Experience Committee. She is Virgin Media O2’s Head of Customer Journeys. Nicola is responsible for the customer experience of the O2 and Virgin Media brands and for defining the UK customer experience strategy for cable, TV, Broadband and mobile services. In 2019, Nicola was appointed to the leadership team for Telefonica (O2) UK Limited as Customer Experience Lead with responsibility for all consumer and small business experiences across multiple channels. She joined Telefonica (O2) UK Limited in 2001 and has held many roles across strategic, operational and innovation functions in Sales, Service and Marketing divisions. She was awarded the Customer Experience Leader of the Year award in 2021 by UK CXA and has awards for building a Customer Centric Culture and Putting Customers at the Heart of the Business.
Karen Prodger Karen is an independent adviser on the Customer Experience Committee. She brings 20 years’ experience, leading scale teams across global organisations, researching customer propositions, delivering seamless customer experiences and journeys, transforming digital operations, building technical and customer talent. She recently joined Halfords as Senior Director, leading Customer Strategy & Experience, Marketing and Digital across Group. Before this, she headed Digital Transformation for Vodafone, including strategy, experience and delivery. Karen has a deep consulting background supporting global organisations undergoing strategic change and across Financial Service and Barclays, driving innovative, inclusive propositions for customer segments. She’s been Accountable Exec for top digital investment programmes, radically simplifying mortgage, lending and collections experience

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the department’s main executive forum and the primary place in which Commissioners make their decisions. Individual committee members have portfolios of responsibility that span each line of HMRC business and corporate service function.

The Executive Committee oversees and assures all of HMRC’s work and is responsible for setting and delivering strategy. It also oversees the department’s performance, both in terms of immediate and future objectives.

Within a dedicated performance hub, displaying performance indicators agreed by the committee, it analyses HMRC performance against targets and considers ways to improve performance in all areas, including both customer service and value for money.

The Executive Committee is additionally supported by 3 sub-committees:

  • Strategy Committee
  • Change, Investment and Design Committee
  • Professional Standards Committee

Strategy Committee

The Strategy Committee provides high-level oversight of HMRC’s strategy and how it is implemented across the department.

Change, Investment and Design Committee

The Change, Investment and Design Committee ensures that all change takes HMRC towards achieving our strategic objectives and approving the key design, investment and delivery points in a programme’s lifecycle.

Professional Standards Committee

The Professional Standards Committee oversees how HMRC administers the tax system and applies policies in accordance with its values. The committee considers how HMRC’s actions could affect trust in the tax system and public perception of fairness. It offers critical challenge to how HMRC exercises its powers, supporting good practice in the use of its powers and safeguards.

Further details can be found in the full terms of reference for the committee: Professional Standards Committee: terms of reference (accessible open document format) (ODT, 10.5 KB)

You can read summaries of the most recent committee meetings:

You can read a summary of the committee’s first year:

Membership of the Professional Standards Committee

The Professional Standards Committee is comprised of the Executive Committee and 2 Non-Executive Directors. In addition, 4 independent advisers support the committee.

Non-Executive Directors Independent advisers
Patricia Gallan Katerina Hadjimatheou
Paul Morton Emma Borg
  Kirsty Britz
  Glyn Fullelove