The technical report from Mapeley following the incident on 24 Nov 2011 has still not been made available to HMRC or the H&S committee. It was noted that the report is essential in order to detail the causes of the failures and what remedial action has been taken.
PCS stated that the report must exist and without sight of such a report, we could not be confident that the H&S committee are in possession of all the facts which led to the failures on 24/11/11. While management continue to pursue the report, PCS will be considering further means of obtaining it and also pursuing concerns with the Local Authority who may be in possession of all the facts regarding the failures. A Freedom Of Information (FOI) request may be made as although Mapeley are not ordinarily covered by FOI as they are a private company, in this situation it is believed they are as they are acting in the public interest.
PCS are to seek legal advice on the issue of ATOS consent forms. Currently ATOS send the medical form direct to the manager which is contrary to the General Medical Advice ruling which states that the individual should receive the report first.
DMB Field Force (FF) Agents
PCS argued that the generic Risk Assessments FF agents are asked to complete once a week and which the managers sign off are inadequate as they do not allow for certain controls to help agents who have specific concerns. For example, agents are asked to take responsibility in confirming they are in a safe area even when they have no knowledge of the area or the tax payer. At times agents are turning up to addresses and are getting an aggressive response. PCS noted that the agents cannot make an informed decision on the calls they make as there is no back ground knowledge and as a result, agents have no confidence in the Risk Assessment form. PCS also noted they have previously sent recommended control measures for inclusion in the Risk Assessment but these have been rejected by Senior management. It was also noted that in SME, penalty notices are being issues with a 30 day turnaround and with the limited training given, further potential conflict may arise.
OS stated that the Risk Assessment can be customised and cases are not issued where there is a history of abuse. If there is a history of abuse, it is in the forefront of the screen and flashes up in big letters. OS added that come January agents will have full access to the information as the department is refreshing the all the systems and the agents will be able to view the information for themselves. The new IT equipment will also be easier to carry.
OS said that if the agent has any concerns they should be included in the Risk Assessment and a process of education in how to complete the Risk Assessment has to be encouraged. OS said they are happy to investigate any cases PCS bring forward.
The meeting agreed to look into how Mapeley deal with priority calls, time scales and how they determine what questions are asked.
H&S negotiating structures
A review is taking place on who comes to H&S meetings and it was agreed that somebody of a sufficient higher grade should attend. It was accepted that if there is a specific area that needs to be addressed then a senior manager from the relevant business stream should attend. It was also recognised that there is a H&S statutory duty for a senior responsible officer to negotiate with the H&S committee.
HRACC1 (accident at work reports) reports
It was agreed that accident reports will become a standing item on the agenda to identify trends.
Stress Tools Survey
It was noted that the Stress Tools Survey, although a HMRC initiative, had not been put into practice and that the facilitators need to be trained up.
Any question or comments, please e-mail a member of the building H&S committee, details of the committee are held on the notice boards on each floor.