Revenue Authority preparing for operationalisation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert. – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

LAST week the Court of Appeal gave the government the green light to proceed with operationalising the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority (TTRA) after it dismissed a challenge the Public Services Association (PSA) brought through one of its members, Terrisa Dhoray, a customs officer.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert posted about the court’s ruling on X (formerly Twitter) at 12.54 pm on May 28.

“The Court of Appeal just ruled unanimously that the TT Revenue Act is valid and constitutional and does not breach the constitutional rights of public officers. We can now move swiftly to improve and maximise revenue collection for the benefit of all our citizens.”

Dhoray had challenged the lawfulness of the authority and the lawsuit specifically focused on Section 18 of the legislation.

Speaking to Newsday by phone on June 3, chairman of the TTRA board of management Nigel Edwards said while there are still elements of operationalisation subject to legal challenge, specifically Section 18, over the last several months the board has continued efforts to ensure operationalisation is achievable in the shortest possible time.

“One of the biggest areas of focus is determining the structure of the organisation. We have made extremely good progress with that and we have what the organisation structure will look like.”

Edwards said the board of management, along with senior executives from the TTRA, had been working to ensure that when the TTRA is ready to be operationalised, all the people will be in place.

“We are working with the senior executives to ensure the structure is right and when we do start the hiring process, that it is done appropriately.”

Edwards said the TTRA is also trying to be prepared from a technological standpoint.

“We are ensuring that all the technological arrangements are in place to ensure a smooth transition.”

Newday tried to contact Imbert via WhatsApp message for an update on what stage the process has reached, but was blocked in less than 15 minutes.