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SARS boss must answer to Parliament, says ex employee

Aug 24 2018 07:30
Tlhologelo Masehla

A former SARS employee has recommended that the appointment of the tax service commissioner should be apolitical, with direct reporting to Parliament - similar to the Public Protector. 

Nishana Gosai, who was an auditor from 2007 until 2016, testified at the Nugent inquiry that a "vexatious process" led to her departure from the tax agency, amid difficult working conditions under a new operating model. 

Gosai is one of several SARS business unit managers who have lambasted the operating model - implemented under Tom Moyane, who was suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March. 

According to Gosai, she was not consulted about the new operating model, saying she only found out about it on January 23, 2015 via email. The email came from the office of Moyane, who was then commissioner. 

The correspondence informed employees about the implementation of the new model, which was intended to be completed by the end of march 2015, which in Gosai's opinion was "a bit ambitious". 

'Modernisation strategy'

The email announced a project team to be implemented in stages. These included development of the new operating model, business structure and to craft a framework for how SARS would proceed with its modernisation strategy. 

Upon Moyane's suspension, Ramaphosa accused him of being responsible for a deterioration in public confidence in the institution, and for public finances being compromised under his watch. 

"I would like to see the appointment of a commissioner being apolitical, with a direct reporting to parliament similar to the Public Protector," said Gosai. 

"We got caught up in a political narrative that we should not have been part of in the first place," she added, referring to the alleged political interference in the running of SARS.

She also recommended that the executive committee should be rotated and have independent oversight.

"SARS needs to think about robust performance plans," she said.

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sars  |  tom moyane  |  nugent commission
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