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David Varney

David Varney

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Sir David Robert Varney (born 1946) was the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs from its establishment in April 2005 to the end of August 2006. David Varney was named as a recipient of a knighthood in the 2006 New Year's honours list
New Year Honours 2006
The New Year Honours 2006 for the Commonwealth realms were announced on 31 December 2005, to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 2006....

. In the same year he was awarded an Honarary Degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Bath
University of Bath
The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

.

Private sector career


After graduating in Chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 from the University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

, where he was President of the Students Union, David Varney joined Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

 in 1968. In 1990 he was appointed Head of Marketing, Branding and Product Development for Shell International Petroleum and in 1991 was appointed a Managing Director of Shell UK with responsibility for downstream activities. He was appointed a Director of Shell International Petroleum in 1996.

In June 1996 Varney joined BG (formerly British Gas
Centrica
Centrica plc is a multinational utility company, based in the United Kingdom but also with interests in North America. Centrica is the largest supplier of gas to domestic customers in the UK, and one of the largest suppliers of electricity, operating under the trading names "Scottish Gas" in...

), as Chief Executive designate of the proposed BG plc and was appointed Chief Executive the following year, overseeing the successful demerger of Lattice plc. He was Chairman of mobile phone operator mmO2
O2 plc
Telefónica Europe plc is a European broadband and telecommunications company that trades as O2 . The company originated as a collection of worldwide telecommunications companies, known in the later half of the 1990s as BT Wireless, and a global mobile data business known then as Genie Internet,...

 between 2001 and 2004. He was also Chairman of Business in the Community
Business in the Community
Business in the Community is a British business-community outreach charity promoting responsible business, CSR, corporate responsibility, and is one of the Prince's Charities of Charles, Prince of Wales....

 and is president of the Chartered Management Institute
Chartered Management Institute
The Chartered Management Institute is a professional institution for managers, based in the United Kingdom.In addition to supporting its members, the organisation encourages management development, carries out research, produces a wide variety of publications on management interests, and publishes...

.

HM Revenue and Customs


HM Revenue and Customs was formed from the merger of the Inland Revenue
Inland Revenue
The Inland Revenue was, until April 2005, a department of the British Government responsible for the collection of direct taxation, including income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, corporation tax, petroleum revenue tax and stamp duty...

 and HM Customs & Excise in April 2005. David Varney was appointed as the first executive chairman of the merged organisation having carried out that role in a shadow capacity from October 2004.

David Varney's previous career as a private sector executive differs from the traditional career path of senior British civil service
British Civil Service
Her Majesty's Home Civil Service, also known as the Home Civil Service, is the permanent bureaucracy of Crown employees that supports Her Majesty's Government - the government of the United Kingdom, composed of a Cabinet of ministers chosen by the prime minister, as well as the devolved...

 heads. On taking the role, Varney faced a number of key challenges including maintaining business-as-usual while delivering around 12,000 staff cuts under the Gershon Review
Gershon Review
The Gershon Efficiency Review was a review of efficiency in the UK public sector conducted in 2004-5 by Sir Peter Gershon.Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, then Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister respectively, appointed Peter Gershon, at that time the head of the Office of Government...

 and moving jobs out of the South-East of England under the Lyons Review.

Following the ending of his chairmanship of HM Revenue and Customs, David Varney took up a role at HM Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 as a permanent secretary
Permanent Secretary
The Permanent secretary, in most departments officially titled the permanent under-secretary of state , is the most senior civil servant of a British Government ministry, charged with running the department on a day-to-day basis...

. In December 2006, he delivered the report "Service Transformation: a better service for citizens and businesses, a better deal for the taxpayer", which aimed to improve the UK's service performance in interacting with citizens and businesses.

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