Suffolk Mandarin Dame Lin Homer to leave Whitehall post
16:30 11 January 2016
Suffolk-based Whitehall Mandarin Lin Homer is to leave her job as chief executive of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – the announcement coming less than a month after she became a Dame in the New Year’s Honours.
Dame Lin is a former chief executive of Suffolk County Council – and was the first appointment to the top job to come from outside the county’s administration.
The HMRC has announced she is to stand down from her role in April and the search for her successor has begun. Her move comes after the HMRC regularly came under fire from MPs over the way it has dealt with public complaints.
Dame Lin said: “After ten years as a Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary in the Civil Service, the start of the next Spending Review period seemed to be a sensible time to move on.
“It has been a privilege to have been with HMRC during a period when the improved performance of the Department has been increasingly recognised and we have the full backing of Ministers for our future plans.
“HMRC is a critical organisation which does vital things – to collect the revenues to pay for public services, support families with targeted financial support and facilitate trade for UK businesses.”
When her honour was announced at the end of December, Dame Lin told us: “I have had lots of fun, and some frustrations, but that is the nature of things.”
She has made it clear she is not seeking another role in Whitehall after she leaves HMRC.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “Lin Homer has made a real contribution to public service modernisation and transformation.
“She has put the foundations in place that will see HMRC become one of the most digitally-advanced tax authorities in the world.”
Before she took over at HMRC in 2012, Dame Lin had been in charge of the UK Border Agency and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport.
She had faced a scathing attack by MPs for her “catastrophic leadership failure” when she was in charge of the UK Border Agency.
And after she became head of Britain’s tax office she was forced to defend the department after securing only one prosecution from a list of 6,800 UK-related secret Swiss bank accounts provided in 2010 by French authorities.
Dame Lin’s home is in south Suffolk and she spends as much time as possible in the county – including visits to Portman Road.