Georgetown, GRA, Thursday, June 18 2020: Management of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is once more appealing to the sections of society that have been maliciously spreading inaccurate and unfounded information to the public through electronic and other media to desist from doing so in this current political climate.
Reference can be made to recent posts on the social media platform Facebook alleging that several private garbage disposal vehicles were seen at the GRA’s headquarters loading and carting off “documents” under the watchful eye of its Law Enforcement arm. This is nothing but a reckless and deliberate attempt to peddle misleading information and propaganda about the Authority for self-serving purposes.
The Authority would like to categorically state that these statements are absolutely untrue. The GRA wishes to assure the general public that it did not dispose of any confidential documents and that all its records are intact and can withstand any scrutiny to attest to this fact. Additionally, there was no escort of the garbage trucks to the dump-site by LEID staff.
The disposal receptacles are permanent at the GRA Head office location, which houses a staff of over 600 persons, and over 1,000 taxpayer visits per day. The garbage trucks are called in to remove same when filled or overflowing with trash or builders waste. This is a weekly occurrence and Cevon’s Waste Disposal Services are contracted to carry out this service. With the recent construction work at the Authority more waste material was being produced than usual.
GRA does not chose the time of the arrival of the garbage trucks. This in entirely within the discretion of the garbage company. Further with the COVID deadlines in place, the GRA unlike many public agencies, work until 4:00 pm every day except on Fridays, so except for a skeleton staff, everyone would be gone after 4pm. Staff numbers are reduced since some staff work from home and we have some staff on a rotation shift to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Lastly the Authority wishes to advise, disposal of confidential documents once they become statute-barred and other assets OF VALUE are done in accordance with the financial regulations, Laws administered by the GRA and the Auditor General. The standard procedure is for the Commissioner-General to notify the Office of the Auditor General for an audit of the disposal exercise and in all cases, the Auditor-General would then witness the disposal.
The GRA is once again cautioning the general public to not be manipulated by these undesirable elements without factual evidence or based on hearsay. They use the guise of anonymity to attempt to besmirch the reputation of the GRA and the integrity of its staff for their own nefarious reasons.
The Authority is certainly not surprised at this level of mischievousness since numerous attempts have been made to do so in the past. It is therefore of no surprise that the disposal of garbage, a common bi-weekly practice has suddenly gained notoriety. However, most disappointing is the attempt to tarnish the good image of one of the Authority’s Senior officers who have served the Authority with distinction.
The GRA is asking such persons to cease and desist from making further factually untrue statements that play on people’s emotions to the detriment of Guyana. Ours is an Agency that prides itself in its integrity and our officers will not be distracted from its mandate to administer the country’s tax laws and regulations in a fair and consistent manner regardless of political persuasions.
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