To encourage excellence in performance by government agencies and parastatals, the President, Ernest Bai Koroma, yesterday awarded performance awards to government institutions. For the second year running, the National Revenue Authority (NRA) was awarded the Silver Award in recognition of its outstanding performance in the 2013 performance contract review.
The award focuses on measured outcomes against performance specifications. In the case of the NRA, the annual performance appraisal looked at major challenges to revenue growth as well as achievements and outlook.
Policy outcomes reviewed included revenue collection – the NRA met and exceeded its revenue targets for 2013 and improved on the 2012 collection; modernisation of customs administration, the rolling out of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) to Gbalamuya is almost complete and customs clearance time for error free declarations has improved; presentation of mining revenue statements, NRA complied with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) by publishing all mining revenues in 2013, which is a trigger for multi-donor support and partnership; Strategic Management has also improved with a reduction in tax arrears, better control over revenue leakages, strengthening of internal and budgetary controls and tax compliance rate.
Presenting the awards, President Koroma praised the NRA for being among the agencies and commissions with high compliance rate. The revenue authority was commended for regularly providing vital data that aids the process of performance management.
The Chairman Board of Directors of NRA, lawyer Sulaiman Kabba Koroma, thanked the Commissioner-General Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara and staff of the Authority for their accomplishments.
He said the institution has made tremendous strides in addressing a number of challenges that impede efforts to maximise revenue collection such as tax weavers and concessions, which have now been addressed in the 2013 Finance Act.