Britain’s defence chief Jon Thompson to head up tax department in new management structure

By on 24/02/2016 | Updated on 25/09/2020
Sir Jon said it had been a “tremendous privilege” to lead HMRC but that moving to the Financial Reporting Council was “too exciting to turn down”.

Jon Thompson, permanent secretary of the UK’s Ministry of Defence, has today been announced as the tax department’s new chief executive.

However, under a new management structure revealed today, Thompson, who has been heading up the MoD since September 2012, will report to the HM Revenue and Custom’s (HMRC) new executive chair Edward Troup.

Troup, currently HMRC tax assurance commissioner and second permanent secretary, will assume the newly created post on April 5, while Thompson will move over the HMRC “shortly,” according to a government press release.

Troup will report to cabinet secretary and head of the civil service Sir Jeremy Heywood.

Global Government Forum understands that both, Thompson and Troup will hold the title of first permanent secretary and be on the same pay grade.

Asked who will be responsible for the strategy of the department, a HMRC spokesman said: “There is a clear division of responsibilities.

“The executive chair will lead the board, which is responsible for creating and overseeing the strategy of the department and the chief executive will be responsible for the delivery of the department’s strategy, objectives and performance.

“This is a well-tested model in other public and private-sector organisations.”

Thompson said: “While it will be a wrench to leave the Ministry of Defence, I am 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 50m individual and 5m business customers, HMRC operates at a scale that few organisations can match.”

Once Troup takes his new role on 5 April, HMRC will review the arrangements for assuring large tax settlements, it said.

Troup said: “I am delighted to be appointed as executive chair.

“It has been a privilege to be Tax Assurance Commissioner over the past three years and I look forward to leading HMRC along the path of transformation that has been established and to ensuring the delivery of the ambitious plan that we agreed with ministers in our spending review settlement in November.”

Heywood said: “I would like to congratulate Edward and Jon on their appointments.

“Edward’s deep tax expertise and long experience in both HMRC and HM Treasury make him an excellent choice to lead the department through an important phase of change and amid unprecedented public interest in taxation.

“Jon’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.”

Current HMRC chief executive Lin Homer announced her departure from the civil service last month after ten years working in central and 16 in local government.

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See also:

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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