PCS fears there could be increased risk to the safety of HMRC staff following the announcement that the department is privatising its in-house security team.
Private contractor Mitie is to be given the contract to run the entire security guard provision across the future HMRC estate.
PCS has objected to the privatisation proposals at every stage of the process, condemning the management report recommending the outsourcing – which was produced, astonishingly, without visiting a single site to review the security requirements.
Throughout the proceedings, HMRC has dismissed our very real concerns about the safety of HMRC staff and the risks associated with handing over this key service to a private sector provider.
HMRC claims that the service needs to be privatised because of new service requirements in their planned regional centres and specialist sites. Leaving aside the fact that existing security guards would be willing to undergo any additional training that the new regional centres may need, the fact is that the first new regional centre to open in Croydon, isn’t operating to the requirements set out in management’s new ‘service standards’. HMRC has also confirmed that the new security contract will not be ready in time for the opening of the department’s next regional centre in Bristol, with a further “interim solution” being sought.
PCS remains totally opposed to the plans with our recent Revenue and Customs group conference confirming the membership’s overwhelming opposition to the privatisation plans. We will be discussing HMRC’s announcement with affected members and we will continue the campaign to reverse this dangerous decision.