The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says it will continue to retain the highest levels of institutional integrity to protect the tax system against abuse. This comes after disciplinary action was taken against 77 Sars officials, according to the service’s financial report for the year 2013.
“Through our own systems and detection, we were able to take some form of disciplinary action against 77 of our staff members who were believed to be involved in improper conduct.
“Our actions in this regard led to 20 individuals resigning from Sars, 19 arrests have been made together with the SAPS,” said Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay on Tuesday.
He said Sars wanted to assure the public that Sars will ensure its systems are protected against abuse, particularly those who are tasked and employed by Sars to collect revenue, to handle people’s personal information and to have access to people’s banking information.
“Because Sars is a public institution funded by public money, we need to ensure we retain the highest levels of institutional integrity.”
Lackay added that Sars was serious in its commitment to rooting out any form of improper conduct, any form of abuse of the tax system and any form of corruption found within its ranks. “Once we are able to establish the factual basis for any complaint against a staff member we can then proceed with disciplinary steps to protect the tax system,” he said.
He said that if there was a basis for further criminal prosecution, Sars would involve other law enforcement agencies like the police and the National Prosecuting Authority.