…ACCA could withdraw its Intl. certification -Accountant
If found guilty in local court of law of any kind of criminal wrong doing or fraud, Commissioner General of the Guyana
Revenue Authority, Khurshid Sattaur, faces possible lifetime blacklisting by the international Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
This is according to a prominent local Accountant, who speaking on the condition of anonymity, explained that following the launch of an investigation into Sattaur’s action by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana (ICAG), a report will be filed with ACCA.
It was noted that the ACCA will act based on the results of the ICAG findings but will also be looking to see the outcome of any court proceedings involving Sattaur, or whether any private civil action would be taken against him.
It was explained that if it is found that the Commissioner General did in fact breach the Oath of Office he swore to as it relates to the confidentiality of tax information, then the ACCA would be able to act and levy sanctions.
The Commissioner-General is accused of abusing his office and breaching secrecy regulations by leaking confidential information on a taxpayer.
Earlier this month, Publisher of Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall, filed an official complaint with ICAG, and the accounting body has since launched an investigation.
ICAG, in a reply to Lall this past week, said that it has received the formal complaint, based on a letter dated October 7th.
“The Council of the Institute considered the contents of your letter and the associated attachment at its meeting of 14th October 2014. It has been agreed that the matter will be referred to the Investigations Committee of the Institute in accordance with our by-laws (sic).”
According to ICAG, the Investigations Committee will be communicating with the Publisher on the matter and
subsequently on the status and conclusion.
ICAG is a public interest body whose objectives include the promotion and increase of the proficiency of its members and students, regulation of the conduct of its members and students and promotion of the accountancy profession.
Lall in his complaint to the local accounting body, included copies of leaked emails that Sattaur had exchanged with former President Bharrat Jagdeo and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.
“While only of tangential importance, the emails demonstrate that Mr. Sattaur, who is the Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, is using his position in an improper manner amounting to professional misconduct,” the complaint by Lall indicated.
“In view of the seriousness of this matter and the impact it has on the reputation of the accountancy profession for probity, integrity and professionalism, I would welcome prompt action to address my complaint.”
Those emails, published over recent weeks by this newspaper, revealed a shocking plot by top Government officials, in collaboration with Sattaur, to go after a number of private newspapers and news entities that have been highly critical of projects, and the way taxpayers’ dollars are being spent.
Kaieteur News has been at the brunt of the offence by Government which has been under increasing criticisms for a number of questionable contracts and deals with investors.
By law, GRA is bound to keep secret, tax and other financial information filed by taxpayers.
There has been widespread condemnation after those revelations of the tax leaks, with questions asked about which other businesses may have suffered.
Sattaur had become angry after the newspaper published a report which questioned the appropriateness of his three children and other relatives working under him in key positions at that state agency. He admitted in those emails sent September, that he had used the threat of tax audits to successfully silence Frederick Kissoon, a popular, long-standing columnist in Kaieteur News.
GRA had also reportedly leaked sensitive tax information regarding Kaieteur News to the Guyana Chronicle, the state-owned newspaper, which was also used in a systematic attack on Kaieteur News.
Sattaur, by way of email, had also leaked the sensitive tax information on Kaieteur News and Stabroek News among other media houses to the Former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Earlier this month, GRA, led by Sattaur, filed private criminal charges against Lall and his wife after seizing two SUVs belonging to a remigrant couple who are family friends of the publisher.
GRA contends that the Lalls are the real owner. However, the publisher made it clear that he and his wife would normally use the vehicles as part of a fleet, in face of security concerns.
The charges, and an increasing number of lawsuits as well as the emails, are strong evidence of Government backing a plan to silence an outspoken newspaper, Lall said.
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