Lessons from the HMRC data loss debacle

In this article, I examine claims made about the failures in HMRC by politicians on either side of the debate and look at the root cause of the failures, in search of lessons to be drawn from the episode.  I propose that the real culprit is a “pretend reality” that emerges for the public sector approach to risk management, and suggests the the HMRC mishap represents an anomaly that illustrates the inherent flaws in risk management techniques which are mandated for the public sector, and very widely used in the private sector.  I trace the orignins of the failings and propose a more meaningful and realistic approach to and role for risk management in the state sector and beyond.



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