Paul Gray

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Paul Gray is the former chairman of HM Revenue & Customs, who was forced to resign after his department lost the confidential details of 25 million individuals in 2007. He now works as a coach at Praesta Partners LLP.


Gray began work at the HM Treasury in 1969 as a professional economist, before transferring to mainstream civil service administrative roles. In the late 1970s he took a break from the Treasury to work as a corporate planner at Booker McConnell Ltd for two years. He transferred back to the Treasury, working on agriculture, industry and employment issues and co-ordinated the Public Expenditure Survey process.

Between 1988 and 1990 he was economic affairs private secretary to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

In 1990 he returned to the Treasury, spending three years working on monetary policy as a member of the EU Monetary Committee, before becoming head of personnel and central services and a non-executive director of Laing Management Ltd. In 1995 he was appointed director of budget and public finances, and in 1998 head of policy at the Department of Social Security.

He was then appointed as second permanent secretary and managing director, pensions and disability in the Department for Work and Pensions, in September 2004 he was appointed deputy chairman of HM Revenue & Customs and then chairman in 2006, following Sir David Varney's resignation.[1]

However in 2007 he announced his resignation after admitting department had lost the confidential details of up to 25 million individuals from 7.5 million families claiming child benefits.[2]

Post-civil service

In May 2008 Gray's appointment as an executive coach at Praesta Partners LLP[3] was "approved subject to the conditions that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not become personally involved in any contractual dealings with HMRC or in lobbying UK Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of his new employer".[4]



  1. Board HMRC, accessed 25 November 2014
  2. Gray Tuesday for HMRC: Chairman resigns over data breach Accounting Web, 20 November 2007, accessed 25 November 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Who we are: The team Praesta, accessed 25 November 2014
  4. Tenth Report 2008-2009 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 25 November 2014