Lin Homer has been accused of aseriesoffailingswhile
Lin Homer has been accused of a series of failings while HMRC chief Getty

The New Year's Honours list 2016 has generated more controversy than many in recent years. Among the awards to raise eyebrows is a damehood for HMRC chief executive Lin Homer.

Homer, whose pay packet last year was worth £275,000, has been the centre of a series of controversies since her appointment as head of the tax authority, as well as in a series of previous executive positions in the civil service.

Below, IBTimes UK reviews some of Homer's alleged failings.


As returning officer for Birmingham City Council during the 2004 general election, Homer was criticised for her failings by the Election Commission after a postal vote rigging scandal.

The Commissioner described the scandal as one that would "disgrace a banana republic". Homer defended her role, claiming she confined herself to "motivational management and fire-fighting."


Homer took up the role of chief of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at the Home Office. The following year 1,000 foreign criminals were released on her watch, leading to the resignation of then home secretary Charles Clarke.


In 2013 Homer was criticised by the Commons home affairs select committee for misleading them while she was head of the Border Agency, a position she took up in 2008.

"It is shocking that after five years under Lin Homer's leadership an organisation that was described at the beginning of the period as not being fit for purpose should have improved its performance so little," they conclude.

Homer was criticised for misleading them about the size of the asylum and immigration backlog when she left the position, which topped 310,000 cases when she left office.


As Permanent Secretary to Department for Transport Homer oversaw the failed franchise letting process for West Coast Mainline, which cost taxpayers more than £100m.

Homer was among the transport bosses criticised by Virgin Trains chief Sir Richard Branson of ignoring concerns about the process.


Under Homer's leadership HMRC has been accused of a "woefully inadequate" response to a National Audit Office report condemning its poor customer service.

In 2013 HMRC admitted making a £1.9bn error, caused by officials overstating the amount of revenue they had collected.

Over the past year, HMRC has been accused of failing to clamp down on tax evasion and money- laundering by organised crime gangs. It also emerged it failed to prosecute a single tax cheat after hundreds of customers used HSBC's Swiss bank to avoid UK tax.