Re: Smartphones should not be banned in GRA

June 14, 2017

The Editor
Guyana Times Newspaper

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) wishes to respond to a letter published in the Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Edition of both the Stabroek and Kaietuer Newspapers, penned by M. Craig in which the writer attempted to make a case as to why the GRA should not ban the use of smartphones. Additionally, the writer made allegations relative to conditions faced at the GRA which are far from accurate.

Had close attention been paid to the Commissioner General’s remarks or maybe had the reporting on same been tailored differently, the general public would understand that Mr. Statia indicated that the restriction on the use of smartphones was simply a measure under consideration as the Authority fights to maintain the integrity of Taxpayers’ information.

Further, this initiative is being considered to ensure employees of GRA as well as persons visiting highly sensitive areas to conduct business are limited in their ability to copy such information and make it public. This new initiative at protecting Taxpayers’ information may seem retrogressive. However, the same persons so opposed may turn around and heavily condemn the Commissioner General and the Revenue Authority as a whole, if their information is somehow leaked.

Our letter writer then turned attention to GRA’s ability to operate efficiently where the criticisms proved that the letter writer is clearly not a visitor to the Agency. Firstly, the use of a number system is one that is practiced worldwide and it has been proven to work effectively. Finally, had the writer visited the GRA head office recently, he/she would have recognised that there is no longer a tent.GRA has constructed a modern, air conditioned waiting area for taxpayers where internet access is available. Further, given that this area does not contain sensitive information, any restriction would not extend thereto.

While the GRA appreciates the opinions of the general public, persons expressing their opinions should first update themselves with all the details relating to the issues they wish to raise. As a reminder, GRA welcomes constructive criticisms, and excellent taxpayer relationship. The Authority also wishes to advise that it is strives everyday to constantly improve its taxpayer relations.

- END-

Melissa Baird
Manager (ag)
Public Relations Unit