The Board of the Guyana Revenue Authority on Friday defended its decision to fire Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur who had been sent on 200 days leave.
At a press conference at GRA headquarters in Georgetown, GRA Board Chairman, Rawle Lucas said there were several breaches by Mr. Sattaur that resulted in the decision to terminate his services.
Topping that list of breaches is an admission by Sattaur himself, according to Lucas, that just before the last elections, he shared information about a taxpayer with someone who was not attached to the GRA and had no business being provided with the information and the provision of that information was of no benefit to the people of Guyana.
Additionally, the GRA board discovered that Mr. Sattaur also had a safe belonging to the GRA in his private residence. That safe contained the confidential tax information for taxpayers in the country and should have been in the possession of the GRA at all times. The GRA board Chairman said Mr. Sattaur claimed that he had the documents and database at home because his son worked in the IT department of the GRA.
The GRA board also found out that Mr. Sattaur had opted for voluntary retirement since 2011 and had been receiving pension ever since, although he remained in the employ of the GRA and received a $12 Million pension payout which he had backdated.
He continued to serve as GRA Commissioner General through an “implied contract”.
Mr. Lucas announced also that the Guyana Revenue Authority found two additional vehicles belonging to the GRA in the possession of Mr. Sattaur. The two vehicles are in addition to the six that were discovered in his possession just after he was sent on leave.
The GRA Chairman explained that what was even more worrying is that Mr. Sattaur claimed one of the vehicles was a gift to the GRA although he could not provide the source of the gift and both vehicles carried the same license plate number at the same time, which would be against the laws of Guyana. A third vehicle belonging to the GRA was found in the possession of another person who does not work with the GRA.
The Revenue Authority is looking at its legal options to deal with the issues discovered.
Lucas said he wants the staff at the GRA to understand that the moves by the board are to ensure a better functioning revenue collection agency.
Asked about whether the GRA fears a move by Mr. Sattaur to the court over his firing, the GRA Chairman said the Revenue Authority has no intention to deny Mr. Sattaur his constitutional right.