Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019. 1:26 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The Public Service Union (PSU), this week, has gone public with its major concerns regarding the structure and operations of the Belize Tax Services Department (BTS).
The PSU said that chief among their concerns is the fact that the BTS was officially launched on August 2, but to date has not established a Project Steering Committee (PSC) in accordance with the Project Initiation Document and Project Management Structure.
The PSU said that not having a PSC in place means that key functions such as providing strategic program direction and policy direction to project teams are not being performed. The PSU noted that when all tax services were amalgamated to establish the BTS, there was also a loan of $14 million from the Inter-American Development Bank which was to be injected into the department.
“Failure to address and assemble a Project Steering Committee leaves much to be desired where transparency and accountability in the amalgamation process and disbursement of the project funds are concerned,” the PSU said.
The union also said that it has been repeatedly disrespected by the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, the Director-General of the BTS Michelle Longsworth and that many staff members of the BTS are uneasy because they still have not been fully sensitized on the amalgamation process.
The union hinted on political intimidation but did not give any specific examples of such and called on its members to remain strong under those conditions. The PSU ended its statement by reaffirming its commitment to fight for equality and justice for its members. Breaking Belize News (BBN) will be following up with the relevant authorities for updates to this ongoing situation.
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