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NRA’s move to keep taxpayers in the dark criticized

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Monday, October 21, 2019

Nichodemus Ajak, commissioner of Information Commission during Access to Information forum in Juba on Sept 27, 2019 | Credit/Eye Radio

The head of the Information Commission has criticized the National Revenue Authority for reversing the decision to publicly declare the monthly revenue collections.

Last week, the acting commissioner-general of the Revenue Authority told Eye Radio that the institution would no longer inform the public about how much it collects from the non-oil revenues.

Erjok Bullen claimed that the Revenue Authority had no power to do so.

Previously, the former NRA boss, Dr. Olympio Attipoe, would inform the public regularly on the amount collected and the challenges faced in reforming the public accountability and transparency sector.

The Ghanaian national made the last announcement of about $5 million and another 1.5 billion South Sudanese Pounds.

However, after his dismissal in August, the new leadership of the Revenue Authority says it is not necessary to inform the public.

But the Commissioner of the Information Commission, Nicodemus Ajak, says the move is in direct contradiction to the Access to Information Act, 2013.

“I think what we have to push for now is for NRA to justify first of all why they have stopped what they were doing and let them convince us,” said Ajak.

“If that complaint comes to us, then we will take it up from there. It’s not just about that alone, but it’s even about contracts entered into by public institutions with other parties. It all has to be made public.”

The Public Financial Management and Accountability Act 2011 states that all levels of government in South Sudan shall hold all income and revenue received in public accounts and subject to public scrutiny and accountability.

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