In justifying the reason why outgoing Commissioner-General Khurshid Sattaur has been sent packing by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), its Chairman Rawle Lucas earlier today stated there had been a breach of taxpayer confidentiality prior to the General Elections held in May last year.
At a press conference held at the GRA earlier today, the Chairman of its Board of Directors (BoD) also said that Sattaur had a GRA safe at his house which contained ICT that is utilised to store taxpayers’ data.
However, responding to claims made by the Chairman, Sattaur emphasised that he never revealed taxpayers’ information to anyone. He further refuted claims that he had a safe containing taxpayers’ data at his home.
Lucas did not expand on who the taxpayer is, to whom the taxpayer information has been provided to, nor for what purpose. It was, however, pointed out that it is unclear as to whether or not the data stored in the safe had been compromised.
Reporters were also told that although Sattaur had retired in 2011 he continued to serve in the post as Commissioner General of the GRA by means of an “implied contract”.
During this period he is said to have been receiving an average of $12M in pensions and this employment agreement had been deemed as “highly irregular” by Lucas.
The GRA, in a statement yesterday morning, said its Board of Directors had unanimously agreed to sever ties with Sattaur effective March 1.
Sattaur later issued a lengthy response in which he admitted that while he is not surprised by the decision to “discard” him, he looks forward now to a “peaceful retirement” and the payment of all his benefits and severance package.
Sattaur also pointed out that from the very inception, especially the many public pronouncements made by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, served as an indication “that it would be uncomfortable for me to continue as the Head of the GRA under the new Administration”.
“It does concern me that I gave long and dedicated service to my beloved country for which I have received a national award (the CCH), for my outstanding performance and I am now being discarded and attempts are being made to have me ridiculed and publicly embarrassed by the very Agency that I gave long and dedicated service to,” Sattaur stated in his response.
He said these incidents, sad to say, would appear to have been orchestrated to make it very uncomfortable for him to continue serving with the same dedication and sincerity with which he approached his work.