Bain & Company plans to pay back $10.8 million for SARS work, Managing Partner changes role

Bain & Company, which has been in the firing line for its work done at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has set aside R164 million ($10.8 million) of fees plus VAT and interest paid to it by SARS. In a statement it said “the money will be used either as prescribed by the Nugent Commission of Inquiry or – in the absence of such prescription – for the benefit of South Africa”.

In 2014, Bain conducted a diagnostic for SARS after being employed by the collection service’s then boss Tom Moyane. The plan has been widely criticised for weakening SARS’S collection abilities.

In a statement, the consultancy service said its organisation structure work at SARS did not achieve positive results for its client.

Bain also revealed that Vittorio Massone will step down as managing partner, and be replaced by Tiaan Moolman, a long serving member of the company.

Massone however remains a partner at Bain & Company and will focus his time on cooperating with the Nugent Commission, the statement said.

Elaborating it said: “We have requested Tiaan Moolman to take over day to day operations as interim managing partner. It has been known to our clients for some time that Mr Massone would rotate out of his current role in December to take on another senior role within the firm. This rotation typically occurs each 5-7 years and Mr Massone has already completed almost 9 years in his current role”.

Much of the destruction caused by Bain came to light at the Nugent Inquiry into SARS where Massone testified (see video). Following his and others’ testimony Bain & Company launched an independent investigation led by global law firm Baker McKenzie to examine the facts relating to people, processes, and governance that resulted in it getting and accepting the work.

In a statement Bain says initial findings have shown that its engagement with SARS fell short of its operating principles.

The consultancy also said to reinforce the independence of the investigation and Bain’s commitment to addressing any new facts, it has established an oversight committee made up of senior global Bain partners. “Athol Williams, a Bain alumnus and a respected independent advisor, will chair this committee on an interim basis. He is a distinguished academic in the areas of corporate responsibility, a corporate leader, and lifelong social advocate.”

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