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FRCS Board dismisses Prasad’s claims

February 8, 2021 3:26 pm

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service says there is no truth in claims by National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad about Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, Mahmood Khan.

National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad, yesterday had asked FRCS Chair Fay Yee whether Khan has been appointed to a senior position within the organisation.

Professor Prasad wanted FRCS to clarify whether or not Khan, who is also a tax agent had been appointed as advisor to the FRCS Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jonetani Vuto and given a $120,000 salary.

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The FRCS board today in response to questions from FBC News, says Khan, has not been appointed and there is no salary contract as such.

FRCS says that Prasad never asked the chair, whether Khan was appointed to a senior position within the organisation.

The tax body says claims of conflict of interest and nepotism are serious charges that damage the FRCS’ reputation as an independent statutory institution.

The FRCS Board says when it took office early last year, it realized that FRCS was faced with many organisational and operational challenges as it pursued an important programme of digital reform amid the economic difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since April 2020 the Board has been pursuing a more disciplined and strategic approach from the FRCS management team.

It says the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on business operations across the economy have required the FRCS to adapt to new staffing levels while implementing a number of new initiatives to engrain a more service culture throughout the organisation.

It says to strengthen that organisational effort, the Board of Directors unanimously endorsed Khan to provide strategic guidance to the CEO, given Khan’s over 40 years of experience in management and governance.

He will act as a sounding board for Vuto and provide an operational perspective and guidance and high-level advice on key strategic matters and assist in implementing the decisions and strategic direction of the Board.

Meanwhile, FRCS is undertaking a second round of redundancies, with staff being informed last week of voluntary redundancy.

This is being set out as Expression of Interest, and on offer is one weeks’ pay for each complete year of service, certificate of service, salary up to and including the last day of employment, all entitlements such as annual leave and ex-gratia payment of $2000, which is only available for the voluntary redundancy offer.

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