In order to check corruption within the tax machinery, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will refer the genuine complaints of corruption against the tax officials to the competent forums like the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in cases where there is substantial evidence of massive corruption, according to the FBR.
The decision has been taken in the last meeting of the Board-in-Council of the FBR.
Through a notification issued here on Thursday, the FBR has established a Probe Committee at the Board level and Regional Integrity Committees (RICs) on the national level to verify the authenticity of the complaints filed against the tax officials on the charges of corruption, bribery and speed money.
The FBR has issued Terms of Reference for Integrity Management Cell and Regional Integrity Committees here on Thursday.
The purpose of the whole exercise is to initiate inquiry against the tax officials involved in corruption and also refer cases of massive corruption to other competent agencies, FBR officials said.
One of the interesting TORs of the said committees is the submission of the affidavit by the complainant to certify the genuineness and correctness of the complaint filed against the tax officials.
The Chairman FBR on the recommendations of In-Charge, Integrity Management Cell may refer a case against an officer/official to any other competent forum for further action under any other relevant law for the purpose in case there exists substantial evidence of massive corruption against the officer/official. The In-charge IMC, either on his own motion or on the recommendation by a RIC and with the approval of Chairman FBR, may initiate an inquiry against an official/officer if sufficient and lawful evidence with regard to corruption is available.
According to the FBR’s order, consequent to the establishment of an “Integrity Management Cell (IMC)” at the FBR and constitution of “Regional Integrity Committees (RICs)” in the field formations under FBR, the following Terms of Reference (TORs) are hereby framed for transparent, fair and judicious processing of complaints by the IMC and RICs. Composition of IMC:
The IMC, headed by a BS — 21/22 officer of IRS/Customs, shall be assisted by 02 Chiefs (one each from Customs & IRS), 02 Secretaries (one each from Customs & IRS) and as much supporting staff as is required and deemed necessary. All the Chairpersons of RICs shall report directly to In-Charge, [MC in all matters, falling within the domain of IMC.
Mode of lodging of complaints: A complaint against an employee of FBR may be submitted in person either directly to the IMC at FBR (HQs) or to any of the designated RIC through email or in writing, along with credentials of the complainant including his name, CNIC, cell number, mailing address and an affidavit in writing, certifying the genuineness/ correctness of the contents of his complaint and the facts given therein.
The following modes for lodging of complaint have been provided by the Board:-
- By email at complaintsfbr.gov.pk.
- On FBR online complaint portal.
- By submitting a hard copy of the complaint through the post, addressed either to Chairman FBR, In-Charge, IMC or Chairperson of the RIC
- Meeting in person with Secretary/Chief (IMC) or Chairperson of a RIC.
- Complaints forwarded from PM Portal.
A “Probe Committee”, comprising the following officers, shall initially examine and scrutinize the contents of each complaint, received at FBR or by IMC:
- Chief (IMC);
- Chief (Mgt) concerned;
- Second Secretary/Secretary and any other representative from the field formation concerned (if required)
The Probe Committee, after satisfying itself as to the genuineness of a complaint, shall submit its recommendation to the In-Charge, IMC. In case the complaint is required to be further probed and inquired, the same shall be forwarded to the concerned RIC for the report.
In case the complaint is not genuine or lacking in any necessary clarification, the same shall be communicated to the complainant in writing. The Probe Committee shall hold its meetings on a weekly basis or as and when required and shall maintain a complete record of its proceedings.
At the field level, in case of complaints against BS 01 to 16 FBR employees, the RIC, after satisfying itself as to the genuineness of a complaint, shall proceed as per law and either order further probe or inquiry in the complaint or file the complaint- under intimation to the complainant in writing.
In case of complaints against BS 17 and above FBR employees, the RIC after its initial scrutiny shall forward the complaint to the IMC along with its recommendations which shall be discussed in the “Probe Committee” of IMC. Further appropriate action in all such complaints shall be taken with the approval of In-Charge, IMC and in the light of recommendations of the “Probe Committee”.
The RICs shall hold its meetings on weekly basis or as and when required and shall maintain a complete record of its proceedings.
General Principles for Inquiry and Probing Complaints: a. In order to save time and ensure prompt disposal of complaints, the scope of probe by IMC and RICs shall be strictly restricted/limited to the allegations leveled/facts provide, and substantiated in the complaint.
The FBR has clarified that no pseudonymous/anonymous complaint shall be entertained by the IMC or by the RIC in the light of instructions issued to this effect by the Government of Pakistan. The time limit for disposal of a complaint by the IMC and RICs shall be 30 days, which may be further extended by a period of 30 days by In-Charge, IMC.
A proper opportunity of hearing shall be provided to all the accused to defend themselves against the charges, leveled against them in the complaint so as to adhere to the basic principles of natural justice.
During the course of verification/initial probe, if the complainant produces or is willing to produce any documentary evidence to support his allegations against any officials/officer or to withdraw his complaint, the same shall be allowed after recording in writing and the complaint may be closed by IMC or RIC as the case may be.
The scope of inquiries, undertaken by the IMC or RICs shall strictly be limited to the ambit of E&D Rules, 1973, catering for disciplinary action against civil servants. All proceedings of IMC & RICs will be confidential and nothing will be divulged to any irrelevant person, FBR added.