Government of Jamaica
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:
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 –
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.
The Division comprises four work units – namely Legal, Administrative, Revenue Investigations and Internal & Special Investigations. The Administrative and Legal Units provide the requisite support to the latter two (2) work units which are tasked with the following activities:
This Unit is tasked primarily with the identification and investigation of revenue breaches and non-compliance with the relevant legislation. Other activities include the –
The Unit is tasked with investigating allegations of corruption, bribery, and (serious) conductviolations within the TAJ and Jamaica Customs. The Unit also conducts pre-employment screenings, employee and public education, sensitization and awareness programmes.
Other activities include –
Strategies employed to fulfil the Role include, inter alia:
Assisting in ensuring that the legal framework is Adequate, Effective, Enforceable and Enforced as a deterrent and to encourage effective principles of the Rule of Law and equitable treatment for all.
Improving ethics and integrity of the workforce.
Establishing and maintaining functional relationships with the Revenue and other Government, Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies (not limited to local entities), developing strategic partnerships and providing assistance in Investigation, enforcement, implementation of systems and Best Practices for effective and efficient operations.
Establishing and maintaining an Intelligence Network which supports the role of the Division.
Developing, establishing and maintaining an effective Communications Programme which will help to promote and establish areas of responsibility and promote, both internally and externally, the need for integrity and compliance as an integral part of the contribution necessary for the development and sustainability of our economy and general well being.
Encourage compliance, Internally, with Legislation, Codes of Conduct and Procedures, reducing the loss of revenues and improving the image of the Revenue Agencies; and Externally with legislation and statutory requirements in order to maintain and widen the Tax Net, increasing the inflow of revenue.