back to article HMRC chief digital wonk Jacky Wright takes flight back to Microsoft's light

HMRC's chief digital information officer, Jacky Wright, is returning to Microsoft after two years in the role. Wright was corporate vice president at Microsoft before starting the secondment in 2017. But as The Register exclusively revealed, she was forced to recuse herself from making any commercial decisions regarding …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Wouldn't it have been better to have appointed somebody who didn't have to recuse themselves?

    And undertake to stick around longer to ensure that their "achievements" would be achievements they'd be prepared to live with in the longer term?

    1. defiler

      I have to agree. The 2-year thing smacks of turning up, overturning the previous policies, commencing as many expensive projects as possible, and then buggering off the week before they're due to go live. :-/

  2. macjules Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Permanent secretary Jonathan Thompson, who is also leaving the department,

    And let me guess where he is going, with such gushing praise of Jacky Wright ...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Secondment"

    Since when has it been ok to "second" your senior IT leadership from one of your main suppliers?

    Although in one of my former companies it was amazing how much HP stuff we bought after our COO became a non-exec for them - literally billions.

    Anon obsv.

    1. Velv
      Mushroom

      Re: "Secondment"

      When you work for the Government you can do anything you like, even break the law. Just ask Boris. Oh, wait...

  4. SVV

    Wright was corporate vice president at Microsoft before starting the secondment

    Was this part of the Windows Insider Program?

    And what's with all the praise for transformative achievements when there are just as many expensive government IT fuckups as ever there were?

  5. adam payne

    "I am so proud of all that we have achieved in my two years with HMRC.

    I'm struggling to think of what's been achieved

    "I am very grateful to Jacky for her skills, expertise and leadership over the last two years. Jacky has been a superb leader, transforming our approach to technology, data and digital services...

    Well we know who are you going to work for next.

  6. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    'I am so proud of all that we have achieved in my two years'

    So we can take it that the Microsoft Sales pipeline has been fattened up? It might have been a little more impressive if they had managed to improve things.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    "I am so proud of all that we have achieved in my two years"

    Of course you are. It's called padding your resumé.

  8. Thicko

    2 years! Wow. So 2 months to find the executive loo. 6 months to negotiate return to mother ship, 12 weeks of hols and another month in total for 2 Xmas wind downs. I'd quite like to be a seagull myself!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as an insider it's hard to see what she has achieved in her two years beyond a year long, part finished re-org which her successor will obviously undo. Office 365 and hyperscale cloud migration were already underway when she arrived with the latter having made painfully slow progress during her tenure. CDS remains a basket case with only a few hundred transactions per day after a year of live running and hundreds of millions having been chucked at it (at least half of which has been wasted) but the guys in charge are still in post despite numerous complaints about behaviour. Finances are still opaque, governance and accountability are still largely absent and no progress has been made on addressing HMRC's crippling reliance on contractors, many of whom the department is helping to keep out of IR35. Finally the department has done little to remove reliance on incumbent suppliers and is likely to have to renew with Capgemini and Accenture at least when the contracts expire in June, and Cap in particular seem to have hundreds of people "client side" as HMRC have failed to recruit or develop their own staff whilst RCDTS is left in limbo.

    It's a shame because she is very impressive in person but her tenure has been massively disappointing and she's made little effort to get out of Parliament Street and around the rest of the estate.

    1. TXITMAN

      I don't normally upvote or respond to AC posts but your post is an exception. You have to work from within to fight the fraud. It is difficult but needs to be said.

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Ah, but the tax department is "stronger and more forward focused" now. What more could you possibly ask for from an IT guru?

      Especially when all the department's IT programmes are already Microsoft based and she has recused herself from delivering on that company's products?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "she is very impressive in person but her tenure has been massively disappointing"

      The main requirement for climbing to the top of the tree in management or politics is to be personally impressive and wield your elbows well. Being able to do the job would be a nice to have from the point of view of the organisation but a very minor consideration at most for the climber.

      Cynical? Moi?

    4. Velv
      Mushroom

      "HMRC's crippling reliance on contractors, many of whom the department is helping to keep out of IR35"

      HMRC should be required to publish the CEST materials for every one of these to confirm the tool gives the expected results. It can be done with redacted data, no need for names.

      Or are all the "contractors" provided by one of the big consulting firms, the same consulting firms that advised HMRC that "small independent contractors are bad, here, we have lots of graduates consultants you can use at three times the day rate."

  10. Bruce Ordway

    Brexit related?

    Wondering if it is possible that HRMC might be facing multiplying issues soon, depending on how Brexit goes?

    Where senior management might consider this as the best time to "get out"?

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: Brexit related?

      Only, isn't remaining (cough) during the turmoil also a good strategy? Whatever happens within your realm (cough) you could paint it as heroically striving to save the ship, agile leadership, blah blah, and thus the CV becomes ever so more compelling in the step up to the C-suite of troubled companies when your delayed exit (cough) comes on?

      In all the confusion so many (self-described) heroes will arise! In chaos there is much opportunity, yes?

  11. James Anderson Silver badge

    Customers?

    I suppose the prison service will now have honoured guests, and burglars supply chain partners.

  12. steviebuk Silver badge

    I'm so proud

    ""I am so proud of all that we have achieved in my two years with HMRC. The digital transformation we have introduced and the new ways of working we have championed have built a solid foundation on which to continue, for both our colleagues and the customers we serve.""

    I'm so proud I've managed to escape before the shit hits the fan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm so proud

      FTFY

      ""I am so proud of all that we have achieved in my two years with HMRC. The digital transformation we have introduced and the new ways of working we have championed have built a solid foundation on which to continue, for both our colleagues and the customers we serve.""

      I'm so proud I've managed to escape before the shit I've caused hits the fan.

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