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Lin "dame Disaster" Homer Awarded A New Year's Gong

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The UK's most incompetent woman, Lin Homer, has been rewarded with a New Year's honour for over 3 decades of screwing things up.

In a highly lucrative 35-year career in the public sector, Lin Homer has presided over a series of scandals and faced stinging criticism over her performance.

But despite being repeatedly savaged by MPs and overseeing chaos year after year, the 58-year-old mother of three has moved ever higher up the civil service hierarchy from local government to the UK Border Agency and HMRC.

- As chief executive of Birmingham City Council from 2002-05, where she earned £175,000 a year, Miss Homer was caught up in a postal votes scandal that ended up before the courts.

Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’ and said Miss Homer, acting as the city’s returning officer, had ‘thrown the rule book out of the window’.

He said her decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.

- In 2005 she was appointed to run the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, part of the Home Office, on £200,000 a year.

- On her watch the following year it emerged 1,000 foreign criminals had been mistakenly released, costing then home secretary Charles Clarke his job.

His successor, John Reid, declared the immigration system ‘not fit for purpose’. The same year it emerged 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office.

- From the ruins of IND, Miss Homer designed, and became the boss of, the UK Border Agency, and is now earning £208,000 a year. Her tenure at UKBA was marked by a string of bad news stories and highly critical reports by MPs.

More than 100,000 of the 400,000 asylum seekers found in the backlog were allowed to stay – in what MPs said amounted to an ‘amnesty’. Around 400 of the 1,000 foreign criminals were also told they could remain in Britain and dozens remained untraced.

Despite this, she and her staff were handed bonuses year after year. Over four years she earned nearly £1million. She moves to the Department for Transport as Permanent Secretary in 2011.

- In 2012 Miss Homer was promoted to run HMRC on £185,000 a year, leading to Keith Vaz, the Home Affairs Committee chairman, warning about ‘rewarding failure’. Chancellor George Osborne defends the appointment saying she is a ‘very able public servant’.

In 2014 the tax office was rocked by a scandal over millions of miscalculated tax bills. This summer it emerged the taxman failed to answer 18million phone calls from the public last year – more than a quarter of those it received.

In September Miss Homer admitted half of taxpayers who called the HMRC helpline did not get through during busy periods. Last month she apologised and urged taxpayers to contact officials online rather than by phone.


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The "most spectacularly useless person ever to head a Civil Service Department" according to one comment I have seen. Quite an achievement considering the competition there must be for that title.

Sir Humphrey and his ilk were utterly self-serving, but not incompetent. Two different things there.

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