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Communications Choas. Get it Sorted Mr Cameron

Dear Mr Cameron,

I am a frustrated tax payer that has the misfortune of having to deal with various government departments that are generally unavailable and usually unhelpful in the extreme.

We have the constant nonsense of HMRC only using outmoded communications – what business today still relies on the fax and refuses to accept emails?

It is astonishing that there is no centralised resource to automatically check National Insurance numbers. You encourage us all to join the technological age but your government are the worse culprits for using antiquated processes.

Then we have the “jobsworth” mentality. It is normal practice in UK business circles that an employ needs to give an employer one weeks notice if they require a day’s leave to say attend a national insurance appointment but this is beyond the wit of government employees who refuse to make appointments more than 3 days in advance.

When you explain this lunacy you are invited to write and complain to a government blackhole where your case will be reviewed by the Head of Inaction or some similarly pompous government employee.

If you phone the local Job Centre Plus using information culled from another government department or off the web you find that the number is unobtainable.

To add to the frustrations when you use personal contacts to get a centralised number to make contact you are walked around the system for about a minute only later to receive a message ” all our operators are busy, please call back later.”

When you multiply this by millions trying to communicate with government from the bottom to the top the cost to the British tax payer is enormous.

Customer Service is vitally important in all businesses and government is no different.

May I suggest you instruct your ministers to phone their own departments on a regular basis, as if they were members of the ordinary public, and to provide you with feedback on just how user unfriendly they are.

There is a huge prize here much of it hidden and unrecognised. If your government took the lead on this the benefits are huge.

  • Reduction in time wasted by third parties
  • Reduction in time wasted by government staff
  • Improvement in government efficiency and perception
  • Government being seen to lead – “Lean Government” could be headline grabber.

I very much doubt that this open letter will ever be seen by you personally, but as the man at the top of the pile you need to keep in touch with grass root sentiment. I appreciate you inherited a gas guzzling machine but I have seen little evidence of the government moving towards an eco friendly alternative.


Yours sincerely


Author: Chris Slay

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