GFG programme enhances revenue collection

TANZANIA: THE Good Financial Governance (GFG) programme has enabled the country to enhance its revenue collection by significantly increasing the number of registered businesses and service levy collection in seven regions.

Implemented in 21 local government authorities (LGAs) of the seven regions including the Coast Region, Tanga, Arusha, Dodoma, Mwanza, Kigoma and Singida, the GFG programme has helped to build the capacities in the area of revenue mobilisation and management system so as to increase own-source of revenue collection.

GFG Head of Programme, Mr David Lahl disclosed this on the sidelines of the closing event of the second phase of the programme and supervision committee meeting held in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.

Implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) through the support of the European Union (EU), the government of Germany and Switzerland with an overall volume of 15.5 million Euros (around 42bn/-) the programme works around four fields of actions, including external audit, internal audit, local revenue and social accountability.

The main implementing partners include the Ministry of Finance, President’s Office Regional Administrations and Local Government (PO-RALG), National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) and civil society organisations (CSOs).

“The LGAs have integrated 1,442 new taxpayers into their databases, which has led to the registration of 7.71 bn/-,” said Mr Lahl, indicating that the achievement is a result of the effective exchange of taxpayer information between LGAs and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

He revealed further that since more citizens comply with their tax obligation, they are expected to also demand better service delivery.

Thus, the increase in collected own-source of revenue has directly contributed to improved service delivery, thereby improving the livelihoods of citizens.

Similarly, 23 institutions have improved their internal audit units according to international standards, helping to strengthen financial control while making sure that taxpayer’s money is well spent.

In social accountability, the programme has succeeded to bring citizens and government closer through stakeholder meetings, whereby around 2299 people have participated with 90 per cent lauding the quality of the dialogue with the government.

Due to the recorded success, he said that Switzerland, Germany and EU have expressed interest in financing a follow up phase whose main objective is to boost the revenues further for funding the development of Tanzania, at the same time making sure that the revenue is well spent transparently and effectively.

He identified the three fields of actions which the extension will venture, namely domestic resources mobilisation at the national level, strengthening budget control specifically with the focus on implementation of audit recommendations and fiscal transparency and fiscal policy.

Additionally, for the first time the new programme will be rolled out in Zanzibar and support it in the implementation of public financial management reforms in the areas of internal and external audit and procurement.

For her part, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Ms Amina Shaaban noted that the main four outputs recorded in the course of implementing the programme including strengthening administrative capacities for mobilisation of domestic revenue at national and local levels.

Also, strengthen capacities for public expenditure control, improved strategic framework conditions for evidence-based, transparent and equitable fiscal policy making. The same applies to improved competences for implementing the public finance management reform programme (PFMRP) in Zanzibar.

“This roadmap reflects our commitment to advancing financial governance in Tanzania and I am confident that with our collaborative efforts, we will achieve the objective and outputs,” noted the Deputy PS.

Earlier, the representative of the financiers, Mr Hilger Tausch who is also the Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania indicated that the results have improved after adjustments of the outcome indicators in this field of action in relation to the support to internal audit functions. Overall, there has been a slower fulfillment of the originally laid out objectives.

“We call upon the government to further support the role of the internal audit function as an essential part in the public financial management system,” stated Mr Tausch.

He underscored that the recent launch of the local management system which integrates automated data and exchanges between TRA and local governments marks a very positive sign and right direction.

“We trust that the developed relations between PORALG and TRA will further continue to enhance the local government collections and tax fairness and ultimately further grow the tax base,” he said.

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