This technical assistance report on Republic of Armenia advices on advises on strategic choices for tax administration and compliance risk management. It complements the March 2018 tax administration mission, which provided the State Revenue Committee (SRC) with general guidance to develop and implement a compliance improvement framework. Armenia’s tax policy setting creates challenges for the SRC to effectively manage tax compliance. The Government’s tax policy framework is likely to create new noncompliance opportunities and result in revenue leakages. Strengthened fundamental functions and processes are needed for the delivery of effective tax administration. Two issues raised in the 2018 tax administration mission report need to be highlighted again. The mission provided an analysis of SRC case selection and advised on the adoption of analytical tools to achieve better results. The SRC’s current additive risk rule scoring approaches need to be supplemented by predictive modeling giving better predictions and prioritization of the likelihood and potential consequences of noncompliance—the use of such model is envisaged in the SRC’s draft strategic plan.
Mr. George M Kabwe, Elie Chamoun, Riaan van Greuning, Mowele Mohlala, and Ms. Julia Cardoso
Safeguards assessments are a key pillar of the risk management arrangements for IMF lending. Safeguards assessments aim to mitigate the risks of misuse of Fund resources and
misreporting of program monetary data under Fund arrangements. Safeguards assessment reports are confidential and therefore the IMF Executive Board is provided with a periodic report on safeguards activities on a biennial basis, in addition to high-level summaries in member country staff reports on key findings and recommendations. This update on safeguards activity covers the period May 2017 to end-April 2019 (the period).
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The CBS has taken steps to establish important pillars of a proper policy framework for financial reporting, auditing, and internal controls by approving the Internal Audit and Audit Committee Charters and is committed to address the remaining shortcomings in these areas. The Internal Audit Department (IAD) has made progress by initiating risk assessments of the various CBS business units and recruiting an Information Technology (IT) professional to join the team. The Accounting and Finance Department
(AFD) is making progress in implementing accrual accounting, and accounting for foreign exchange operations (International Accounting Standard (IAS) 21), and has created a new role of Reconciliation Officer to ensure all cash transactions are recorded properly. However, the IAD functions without a director, which places the internal audit staff at a severe disadvantage to other departments and limits their authority to effectively implement their program. Also, while the mission team has stressed the importance of adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) during this mission and the previous mission, the CBS has not formally indicated that it will adopt this framework.2 High priority recommendations were made to address these shortcomings. See Table 1 for homework assignments and high priority tasks.3
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the recommendation made by the IMF mission to assist the authorities in Somalia in developing proper frameworks for internal auditing and accounting to bring them toward international accepted norms. The Internal Audit Department (IAD) needs an infrastructure to make the internal audit practices sustainable, repeatable, and professional. To this end, a proper internal audit charter, audit committee charter, and internal auditing manual needs to be drafted and approved by the management and Board of the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS). In addition, the management of the CBS should appoint a head for the IAD to lead the establishment of internal audit function and consider a flatter organizational structure so that the IAD can mobilize its resources more efficiently.
This Technical Assistance paper discusses key findings of the assessment of the tax administration system in Georgia. Viewed overall, the Georgia Revenue Service is making good progress in implementing modern tax administration practices. Particularly evident is the innovative use of new technology in modernizing current operations. International good practices are already in place in a number of areas. For others, implementation of good practices is progressing; in some cases it has yet to be adopted. Many of the weaknesses identified in this assessment can be rectified relatively quickly, and in some areas, small changes can make a big difference to outcomes.
Many developing countries have significant natural resource endowments, presenting a remarkable opportunity to boost long-term growth. However, this opportunity comes with enormous challenges. To maximize social and economic benefits, strong governance and institutional capacity are essential. Effective and transparent tax administration is crucial for properly managing revenues from natural resources so the country may benefit economically and socially from its natural resources. Revenue Administration describes the challenges that developing countries face and presents good practices to help build countries’ long-term institutional capacity.
The safeguards policy aims to mitigate the potential risks of misuse of resources, including Fund resources, and misreporting of program monetary data. The policy, introduced in 2000, is an integral part of the Fund’s financing policies and complements other safeguards, such as program design, conditionality, and access limits. Safeguards assessments of central banks of the borrowing member are required for almost all forms of Fund financing, and are followed by a period of monitoring for as long as Fund credit is outstanding.
This paper reports on the results of a pilot exercise on fiscal safeguards conducted by the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) during FY2013. The exercise was launched following an independent review of the existing safeguards policy in 2010 in which many Directors encouraged staff to highlight fiscal safeguards risks in cases where a substantial portion of the resources provided by the Fund for balance of payments support is channeled to state treasuries for budget purposes. Pilot fiscal safeguards exercises were conducted for five countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, and Kyrgyz Republic.
The safeguards policy was introduced in 2000 to reduce the risks of misuse of Fund resources and misreporting of program monetary data to the Fund. It supports the Fund’s approach to prudent lending and complements other safeguards such as program design, conditionality, and access limits, to name a few. Some 242 assessments of 92 central banks have been completed since 2000. Assessments are followed by a period of monitoring for as long as Fund credit is outstanding.