“After consultation with the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and other relevant stakeholders, I have decided to appoint an advisory committee which will be chaired by retired Judge Frank Kroon,” he said.
“The committee is being appointed in terms of section 11 of the South African Revenue Services Act. Other members of the committee will be announced once all the necessary consultations have been concluded.”
The committee’s main task will be to guide the long-term strategy at SARS by ensuring that decisions about the revenue authority’s operations, personnel, budget and technology supports its plans.
“The panel will do this by advising the minister of finance on SARS’ proposed strategic and business plans, goals and measures relating to those plans,” Nene explained.
“[Also], its operational and organisational plans, including modernisation of technology systems, training and reorganisation of business units and budget to ensure that the budget supports the revenue and customs authority’s strategic and business plans.”
The appointment of the panel is also expected to strengthen the commissioners’ powers and responsibilities.
According to the minister, SARS had an advisory board from 1997 to 2002 and it met regularly to monitor the performance of the institution and its executive management.
It also addressed a range of key issues and ensured that debate on matters of policy, strategy and performance was critical, informed and constructive.
“It is doubtful that there is any single agency in government whose operational performance is more critical to the work of government than SARS. The rigorous focus on improving administrative efficiency is the most important policy process in SARS,” Nene stated.
“This means continuous engagement with SARS about its performance and ways to overcome problems in enforcing relevant laws, developing appropriate outreach activities, and improving levels of service received by taxpayers.”