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PM urges FRCA staff to improve behaviour

April 17, 2015 12:58 am

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has instructed the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority staff to improve on their behaviour.

Speaking at the FRCA CEO’s Forum this morning Bainimarama said they continue to receive complaints about the poor professional conduct of some FRCA officers.

He says these complaints are based not only on the unfair treatment of taxpayers but on the inconsistency of certain decisions and unnecessary delays.

‘’In some instances, FRCA has failed you. Some companies and individuals have been unfairly targeted. Some have been treated in a high-handed manner. And decisions or rulings have been inconsistent and there has been a lack of transparency’’.

Bainimarama says some investigations, audits and decisions by FRCA staff have been influenced by prejudices based on ethnicity, gender, religion or socio-economic status.

He says FRCA’ job is to be enthusiastic in raising the revenue but that enthusiasm should not extend to behaving in an inappropriate or unlawful manner.

‘’I have instructed the Minister for Finance to ensure that FRCA redoubles its efforts to deal with these serious shortcomings. And I want to issue this call today to every FRCA Officer: Yes, your job is to extract the revenue Government needs to do its own job. But you must always regard the taxpayer as a customer – as in any other business – who deserves to be treated in a professional manner and with consideration and respect’’.

Bainimarama says every citizen has an obligation to society to meet their tax obligations, and tax collectors need to be fair in their efforts to get them to do so.