ATAF vows to build data-intelligent Tax administrations in Africa

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  • 04 Mar 2022
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Eswatini Revenue Service is the recipient of an ATAF Technical assistance programme aimed at upskilling the Tax administration’s staff in data analytics.

PRETORIA – Eswatini Revenue Authority (ERS) wants to grow her data analytics for fraud detection, revenue optimization and improvement is process efficiency and ATAF is providing this technical support. This week as part of the longer-term technical assistance program with ERS a two-day Executive data literacy training was provided to the Leadership of ERS.

This two-day workshop for Executive Management was a follow-through from a broader programme that was launched in 2021 resulting in  Business Intelligence (BI) maturity assessment. The Technical assistance took place from 02 to 03 March 2022 virtually, focusing on how Executive management can leverage data analytics to solve business problems, and use data visualisation and interpretation of data to make informed business decision, leading to increased efficiency of the revenue administration and improved revenue collection.

While upskilling technical officials and developing the right internal tools is essential, it was equally critical to ensure effective support from the organisation’s top leadership for any of these reforms to be successful.

This data literacy training for ERS’s executives achieved just that. A data-driven approach to decision-making within tax administration offers among other benefits, an opportunity for tax administrations to identify, process and use available information with more astuteness in order to improve compliance.

“We will be reaping the benefits of this training for many years to come”, declared one of the participants, “because data has become an invaluable part of our work as tax administrators; the more we have access to it and understand it, the better we can detect and evidence tax evasion and avoidance schemes”, he added.

Still in the context of this technical assistance programme, ATAF through its handholding programme, has assisted ERS in developing their Data Implementation roadmap and their Enterprise Data Strategy

As companies digitalise globally, the amount of data that tax authorities have to collect and process has reached unprecedented levels. Not only do they still need to collect data from traditional sources, but the complexity also brought in by digitalisation calls for these bodies to significantly expand their data collection and analysis capabilities if they are to remain efficient in their revenue collection efforts.

According to ATAF’s Manager: Technical Assistance, Ms Sameera Khan, the success of the technical support to Eswatini is encouraging and will likely be repeated in other member countries in the near future.

“Ultimately, our objective through these initiatives is to build data-intelligent tax administrations on the continent”, she concluded.

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