18 December 2018 - NW3483
Khawula, Ms MS to ask the Minister of Finance
(1)Whether an intelligence unit was established at the SA Revenue Service (SARS) at any time during the period 1 January 1999 up to 31 December 2009; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what legal basis or provisions did the SARS rely for the establishment of this unit, (b) was the establishment of this unit approved by the then Commissioner of the SARS and (c) was intelligence equipment purchased for the intelligence unit; (2) were procurement laws and regulations followed in the purchasing of intelligence equipment for the intelligence unit; if so, (a) was the purchase of such equipment approved by the then Commissioner of the SARS and (b) what are the further relevant details?
1. Around 2007 SARS established a unit that provided support to tax and customs investigations of the illicit economy and organized crime. At various times the unit was called the Special Projects Unit, National Resource Group and the High Risk Investigation Unit.
The formation and functioning of the unit has been considered and commented on by the Sikhakhane Panel, KPMG and the SARS Advisory Board. On 28 September 2018 retired Judge Kroon testified before the Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired Judge Nugent, that the establishment of such a unit was not unlawful.
2. SARS is not aware of any equipment procured by the unit that did not comply with the procurement policy.