Establishment, Accountability, Assurance and Oversight
The South African Revenue (“SARS”) is established in terms of section 2 of the South African Revenue Service Act, 34 of 1997 (“SARS Act”). In terms of section 2 of the SARS Act, SARS is established as an organ of state within the public administration, but as an institution outside the public service. In terms of section 3 of the SARS Act the objectives of SARS are the efficient and effective collection of revenue and control over the import, export, manufacture, movement, storage or use of certain goods. In terms of section 6 of the SARS Act the Commissioner is appointed by the President and in terms of section 9(1)(d) the Commissioner is the Chief Executive Officer and also the Accounting Authority for SARS. In terms of section 4(1)(b) SARS must advise the Minister on all matters concerning revenue.
The Commissioner established an Executive Committee (“EXCO”), chaired by the Commissioner. Chief Officers of SARS attend the EXCO in order to assist the Commissioner in managing the strategic business of SARS. The Commissioner also established various enterprise-wide committees with defined decision making and oversight responsibilities. These committees function to enhance good governance. The SARS approved Values and Code of Conduct further supports a strong ethical culture within SARS. SARS Internal Audit provides objective and independent assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of SARS’ governance risk management and control processes.
SARS is, amongst others, overseen by two external statutory committees. The Audit and Risk Committee was established under the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, 1 of 1999 (PFMA) as well as the regulations issued under the PFMA. The Audit and Risk Committee functions in terms of a Terms of Reference and, amongst others, assist the Commissioner with the responsibility of ensuring that SARS has, and maintains effective, efficient and transparent systems of financial and risk management as well as internal controls. The Human Resources Committee (HRC) is established by the Minister in terms of section 11(1) of the SARS Act to advise the Minister on matters concerning the terms and conditions of employment of any class of employees in the management structure of SARS, as agreed between the Minister and the Commissioner. The HRC similarly advises the Commissioner on matters concerning the terms and conditions of employment of all employees of SARS, other than employees mentioned in paragraph 2(a) of section 11 of the SARS Act. In terms of section 28 of the SARS Act, the Auditor General South Africa audits the accounts and financial records of SARS, including those relating to the collection of revenue.