KRA employees’ lifestyles to be put under radar in war on graft

By: RAMENYA GIBENDI

The Kenya Revenue Authority is to conduct a lifestyle audit of its employees as it seeks to weed out corrupt individuals from its ranks.

The exercise will seek to evaluate an individual’s lifestyle vis-a-vis remuneration to establish any inconsistencies on how they acquired their wealth.

“We shall get into their lifestyles to ensure their living is commensurate with what we pay them or have them explain the source of their wealth,” KRA board chairman Marsden Madoka this year’s annual taxpayers awards ceremony on Tuesday.

And President Uhuru Kenyatta told the occasion that corruption must be dealt with to avoid wastage of taxes and enable the government to prudently use revenue on development projects.

“If you see my government following the route of corruption, let it be known. Report it to the authorities and if you do not trust the people there, you can put it in the media,” the President said.

The integrity checks on employees is part of the revenue collector’s wider attempts to streamline its operations to meet an expanded target set by the government.

TAX REVENUES

KRA is under pressure to increase tax revenues and help the government fund the promises that the Jubilee Coalition made to Kenyans during last year’s campaigns.

The government, in the current financial year, has given KRA a Sh1.1 trillion tax collection target.

“This year we have been given a very high target… we have a very good organisation but with few bad elements, and we have to weed them out,” Mr Madoka stated.

KRA will also start based on their performance with remuneration and promotions tied to ability to meet set targets.

The chairman said the exercise was part of “culture change and re-orientation” towards a more technologically-driven State entity.

Earlier in the year, 67 KRA officials on permanent and pensionable terms were sent home. Their replacements are performance contract terms.

The pacts are renewable every three years, subject to performance, until one attains the age of 60.

BEST TAXPAYER

Safaricom yet again emerged the country’s best overall taxpayer for the seventh consecutive year at the awards ceremony.

Kenya Revenue Authority said the company was recognised for its active role in charitable activities and life-changing innovations besides following the required tax regulations.

The Teachers Service Commission was the runner-up, edging out East African Breweries Limited (EABL) that was second best last year.

The ranking is in its 11th year now.

Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government was declared the second runner-up overall. Its staff are in all corners of the country and include members of the uniformed forces.

Deputy President William Ruto asked Kenyans to embrace the culture of savings to spur development in the country. He said Kenya was trailed in the proportions of savings to GDP in relation to her peers globally.

Other top taxpayers included the Ministry of Health, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and East African Breweries in that order.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION

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