By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) now an autonomous agency has unveiled 11 strategic principles as part of its action plan to ensuring that government’s revenue improves and be protected. The LRA has begun exposing several concession companies bent on cheating the Government of Liberia in revenue collection.
Addressing a press conference through a power-point presentation last Friday, the head of the LRA said in terms of performance named the BHP Billiton, Amlib, Same Darby and Golden Veroleum as companies liable to government for duping its revenue system.
Madam Tamba revealed that Amlib owes government revenue of US$ 36, 000, Same Darby owes US$ 25, 000, Golden Veroleum owes US$50, 000 and BHP owes US$400, 000 while BHP Scientific Research owes US$50, 000 but said within the first year of its operation, the LRA will prosecute people or institutions found in tax evasion and that will be pursued by criminal charges depending on the magnitude because tax evasion is a criminal offence.
Regarding the action plan, the LRA boss said the strategic principles include equitable enforcement of revenue law, efficient organization, streamline collection system and procedure, voluntary compliance and self-assessment system, and customer centric services.
Other principles are enforced compliance which will cover the inclusion of robust legal action from the Ministry of Justice, revenue collection to include citizen ownership and participation, extensive and efficient IT Program, modern HR practices and accountability, professional institutional governance and integrity and collaboration.
The LRA boss admitted that there are leakages in the revenue system of the country and that the Authority is mandated to prosecute those bent on evading the system noting that all it is requesting is that the public rate the LRA based on how the law is applied and how the goods are delivered to the Liberian population.
She said while the LRA was still under the Ministry of Finance, it grew revenue because it kept the exchange rate stable and enforced the law but the transition had its own affliction on the system therefore the new management structure hopes to adapt the principles so as to ensure that the authority makes a big difference.