How Sars overhaul was devised in a series of meetings

25 September 2018 - 12:25 By Amil Umraw
Tom Moyane. File photo.
Tom Moyane. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Parts of Tom Moyane’s new operating model‚ which has been blamed for destabilising the South African Revenue Service‚ were devised in a series of meetings before he was appointed commissioner.

The commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at the revenue collector on Tuesday heard how Bain and Company – appointed by Moyane to assess Sars and make recommendations on how to renew the organisation – met the now suspended commissioner a year before his appointment to discuss his “professional goals”.

According to an affidavit by Bain managing partner Vittorio Massone – parts of which were read at the commission – the first meeting between him and Moyane took place in October 2013. Moyane was appointed as commissioner in September 2014.

At the meeting‚ Massone presented an “outside-in” document to Moyane entitled SARS 2.0‚ which showed the results of an assessment conducted by Bain on the revenue collector‚ using public information. It also made recommendations on changing the organisational structure.

“In order to transform Sars into an innovative revenue and custom agency‚ SA government will have to run a profound strategy refresh and focus on execution to reach SARS real full potential‚” an executive summary of the assessment reads.

The report stated that Sars’s governance model was too “concentrated” and recommended an assessment and reshuffling of the executive within Moyane’s first 100 days in office.

Massone was expected to testify before the commission on Tuesday but cancelled on Friday last week‚ saying he was ill and out of the country. In his place was Bain vice president and general counsel Stuart Min‚ who said the company was not aware of the extent of the meetings between Moyane and Massone before they were contracted to Sars.

Min said Bain’s head office in Boston did not know about the meetings at all.

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