New Transformation Business Group created


Over the past few months, leaders from across HMRC have worked together to set out a 10-year tax strategy and how we will achieve it. To support this, we are creating a Transformation Business Group, to be led by Joanna Rowland in a new Director General role.

Joanna has headed the HMRC programme and project management profession since January 2018 and became interim Director General for our Covid-19 response last August, leading the implementation of the Chancellor’s packages to support businesses and jobs such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

During this time Joanna passed a recruitment panel for substantive promotion to another Director General role and has been confirmed by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary directly into this new role.

The new transformation group will have 3 core functions:

  • directly delivering our major cross-cutting programmes, while ensuring collaboration across HMRC’s other business groups
  • exercising oversight and coordination of the portfolio, both the major changes and the range of projects that will continue to be delivered from other business groups
  • leading HMRC’s project delivery function, setting standards and ensuring project professionals are trained, developed and perform to those standards

HMRC’s Executive Committee (ExCom) will work with senior change leads across the department to agree which programmes require the dedicated oversight of this new group. While the group gets established, its remit will focus on establishing the standards all projects will work to, continuing to oversee the COVID-related projects and taking leadership of the flagship Making Tax Digital programme.

Key to the successful implementation of our long term HMRC strategy will be our ability to lay out, in a clear multi-year roadmap, the combination of policy, process, people and IT changes we need to make.

As we develop planning processes to support this, we will need to work together to ensure the roadmap is complete, coordinated and delivered. The new Transformation Group will support and enable the direct delivery of major cross-cutting programmes together with oversight and coordination of a portfolio of wider change projects which, together, move us forward.

Joanna will report to Angela MacDonald, HMRC Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, who said:

I’m delighted to announce Jo’s appointment, which is critical for delivering the support our customers need in these exceptionally busy and challenging times and will be key in helping us to build trust in our administration of tax and customs.

Jo has done an incredible job leading the delivery of the COVID-19 support schemes over the past few months and has substantial previous experience in leading transformation programmes across government.

Joanna, who will base herself in Portsmouth, commented:

Over the last few months, HMRC has rightly won plaudits for the work we have done to support customers and the UK economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been proud to lead our response and thrilled to see the can-do attitude of our people that has helped us achieve so much in such a short period of time.

I want to carry this energy forward into the longer-term transformation of our department to meet the challenges ahead as we recover and reshape our economy in the post-Brexit world and create a world-leading digital tax and customs authority.


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