In the early 1990’s, the Revenue Protection Division (RPD) was established, primarily to address what was perceived to be rampant fraud and corruption at the Customs Department. The need for the RPD was also recognized by the Barents Report, commissioned by the Government of Jamaica.
Section 6 of the Revenue Administration Act (RAA) states inter alia:
- "There is hereby established a department of government to department to be called the Revenue Protection Department.
- It shall be the duty of the Revenue Protection Department to--
- carry out investigations into cases involving fraud ions into cases involving fraud against the revenue;
- institute programmes for the detection of fraud against the laws relating to revenue and ensure that such programmes are;
- provide assistance to the other Revenue Departments in the planning and conduct of o the other Revenue Departments in the planning and conduct of investigations in relation to offences against the laws relating to revenue.
8. The Commissioner of Revenue Protection shall be of responsible for the general administration of the Revenue Protection Department and shall have such functions relating to revenue protection as may be assigned to him by or under this Act or any other enactment.”
Over the years, the role of the RPD expanded to include not just issues dealing with fraud and corruption relating to Customs, but other revenue agencies and tax types, including General Consumption Tax (GCT), Stamp Duty & Transfer Tax, Income and Property Taxes; in fact the RPD has a mandate to protect any Government Revenue.
Since its formation, the RPD has gone through several structural changes including, being subsumed into the structure of the Financial Investigations Division (FID). In June 2008, in keeping with Government’s anti-corruption stance, the (RPD) was separated from the FID with a new and expanded mandate of anti-corruption and anti-fraud, across the Revenue Service.
The RPD has been specifically mandated to:
1. minimize corruption within the Revenue Services (Tax Administration Jamaica and JamaicaCustoms);
2. minimize other frauds other fraudsother frauds other frauds against the revenue;
3. improve the efficiency of Revenue Collection and generally
4. to protect the Government’s Revenue.
This mandate is accomplished primarily through -
- enforcement of tax laws;
- pre-employment screening of potential employees of the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) Jamaica Customs and the wider Ministry of Finance;
- the provision of support and assistance to the relevant agencies, in investigating and providing recommendations on strengthening and monitoring of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and Jamaica Customs systems and processes;
- strengthening and monitoring of systems and processes of other agencies which affect or impact the Revenue and
- amendments to relevant Laws which govern or affect Tax Administration Jamaica and Jamaica Customs.
The RPD is headed by a Principal Director/Commissioner who reports directly to the Financial Secretary. The current Principal Director/ Commissioner is Major (Ret’d) Johanna Lewin.
Protecting the Revenue…Protecting the Future
To support and strengthen the capacity of the Government of Jamaica to enhance revenue collection by detecting & deterring fraud and corruption against the Revenue through the effective and efficient use of experienced, qualified and motivated staff.
- Increased compliance and revenue collection;
- Effective deterrence of fraud and corruption;
- Heightening public awareness of the effects of fraud and corruption;
- Practical and effective monitoring of TAJ and Jamaica Customs systems, processes and the provision of sound recommendations;
- Comprehensive inspection of physical facilities;
- The effective strengthening of the relevant Revenue Laws.
- Ministry of Finance & Planning;
- Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ);
- Jamaica Customs;
- Other Ministries, Departments, Bodies and Agencies;
- Non – Governmental Organizations (NGO’s);
- Private Sector entities (e.g. Insurance Association of Jamaica);
- The Public