Lin Homer, chief executive of HMRC, was awarded a damehood in the New Year Honours list, despite a barrage of criticism over the tax authority’s performance in 2015.
The HMRC chief was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in recognition of her “public service, particularly to public finance”.
However, Homer was forced to apologise for HMRC’s call handling last November after it was described by the Commons Treasury Committee as “staggeringly bad”.
This followed a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on the organisation’s performance in 2014/15 which stated that “HMRC is still failing to provide an acceptable service to customers and could not tell us when it would be able to do so”.
In light of this criticism, the announcement of Homer’s damehood was greeted with shock and surprise in the national press, with the Daily Mail dubbing the HMRC chief “Dame Disaster”.