KRA renews push for anonymous crime reporting


KRA renews push for anonymous crime reporting

KRA commissioner-general Githii Mburu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has launched another bid to implement an online whistle-blowing platform for reporting tax cheats and agency’s staff abetting tax evasion and bribery.

The taxman is seeking an international firm to install a web-based Anonymous Intelligence Gathering System to enable whistleblowers to report crimes such as tax evasion, smuggling of goods, unreported income and diversion of transit goods.

The web-based whistleblowing platform, which the taxman has been trying to implement since 2013, will also allow whistleblowers to secretly report corrupt KRA officials without their identity being revealed.

KRA earlier explained that a whistleblower will be assigned a special code to identify her once she reports a crime on the website, concealing her real identity.

The taxman currently relies on walk-ins or e-mails and telephone calls made through their Complaints and Information Centre (CIC) for tips — a technique which has had limited success partly because it requires informants to submit their personal details.

This comes as dozens of KRA staff continue to fight court charges on suspicion of abetting tax evasion and bribery.

The staff, who work in the domestic tax department and customs and border control, are accused of helping to fraudulently clear cargo and alter tax returns to help people dodge tax payments, the KRA said.

It did not say how much revenue had been lost. The detentions come as the government is struggling to raise tax revenues to fund its budget.

Other than facilitating the reporting of tax offences, the proposed web-based intelligence gathering system is expected to be integrated with KRA’s database to enable real-time retrieval of tax records of the reported individuals or companies.

On Tuesday, the revenue agency announced it had extended the bidding period by nearly three weeks to August 6.

The KRA has waived the public procurement requirement for the system vendors.

In May, some KRA staff were detained and their houses searched before firing 75 and handing them over to the police on suspicion of facilitating tax evasion.

Sixty two of the workers were arrested at the agency’s headquarters in a corruption purge to plug leakages that cost the country billions of shillings.

The taxman has been having sleepless nights over missed revenue targets.

It lists tax-related misconduct such as theft, cheating in the declaration of returns filing, corruption, collusion and soliciting bribes from tax cheats.

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