Adjudicator?s office where learning is paramount

20 August 2014

The adjudicator’s office reports on the most recent year of activity namely the 2013/14 tax and year and compares against recent years.

HMRC accounts for the bulk of the adjudicator’s work and the 2013-14 year saw a total of 2,350 complaints being received of which 2,311 were from HMRC customers.

The adjudicator is not able to consider disputes affecting departmental policy or aspects of law instead she looks at complaints about:

  • Mistakes
  • unreasonable delays
  • poor and misleading advice
  • inappropriate staff behaviour, or
  • the use of discretion.

The Adjudicator, Judy Clements OBE, in the forward of her report for 2014 highlighted “you will see that this year I have introduced a new section to my report entitled “Listening and Learning”. I am determined to help departments learn lessons from complaints and improve their customer service still further over the coming years.”

This is indeed encouraging as the annual report gives detail of the amounts paid in redress, and 2014 saw a significant increase in liability being given up by HMRC from £905,614 in 2013 to £3,942,549 in 2014 which when added to a significant 90 per cent of cases being either partially or substantially upheld, clearly there is still much that can be listened to and learned. The Annual Report 2014 can be read in full at the website of the Adjudicator’s Office.