On December 6, 2017, the Ministry of Finance presented the project of the comprehensive reform of the State Fiscal Service (SFS) to the public, business and expert community during the round table at the press centre Liga Zakon. The participants discussed practical steps regarding the implementation of the priority initiatives for the SFS reform.
The action plan for the SFS reform is now being agreed between the Ministry of Finance and the SFS. The further steps – as per Yana Bugrimova, advisor to the Minister of Finance of Ukraine – include public hearings, approval by the Cabinet of Ministers and, the last but not least, the implementation of the action plan.
“The fact is that not all perfect components are available for the comprehensive SFS reform at the moment should in no case discourage from the implementation of concrete steps. One must be realistic; hence it is not possible to expect the whole personnel to be replaced within the next two years. The digitalization of the operational processes at the SFS does not only refer to technologies – it is also about transparency, reduced individual contacts with taxpayers as well as more accessibility and effectiveness, which are crucial objectices for any state agency”, Yana Bugrimova said.
The reform of the SFS is important both for business and for the state. According to Yana Bugrimova, the SFS reform has three key elements, which are:
Regulation. “One can say that the State Fiscal Service must be free from corruption. At the same time, the law shall regulate the working processes at the SFS in the way keeping opportunities for corruption as low as possible”, Yana Bugrimova stressed.
Personnel. “Any organization is about its people. Laws and procedures can be perfectly formulated, but if you have people with a different kind of motivation, nothing will happen. Changes in any organization must start from within. Hence, it is impossible to reform the SFS coming from the outside”, the advisor to the Minister of Finance explained.
Business processes. “The SFS is a complex organization with numerous business processes. The optimization of these business processes is often underestimated, when we talk about the SFS reform. Everything depends on effective business processes”, Yana Bugrimova said.
As an example, she said that only 4% of the SFS personnel handle tax debts, whereas the number of staff dedicated for this issue shall be 13% of the total personnel capacity. Another example is that the call centre of the SFS can only process 50% of the incoming calls. There are other examples making clear that the operational processes at the SFS as well as the personnel functions are designed ineffectively and affect the operation of the entire SFS.
Another point is that approx. 60% of the contacts between taxpayers and tax authorities in developed countries are handled via online services. Thus, most issues can be settled without visiting the tax office. It is absolutely different in Ukraine where 60% of the contacts take place in the form of individual visits to the service centres for taxpayers.
Experts, civil organizations and business agree with the necessity to reform the SFS and emphasize that the implementation of IT technologies and launch of as many services as possible online are priority steps which can be made right now.
The video link to the round table is http://bit.ly/2AzFfTG.
Background: The Ministry of Finance and the SFS, supported by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, launched the project for the comprehensive reform of the SFS which includes the implementation of new initiatives in four areas – services, tax checks, debt processing, personnel. Presently, the methodology of the algorithm developed for cameralistic checks is being introduced as part of the reform project (https://goo.gl/CZx7tL). It is planned to launch the algorithm in the test mode in the other regions of Ukraine for the further automation of the cameralistic checks throughout Ukraine (https://goo.gl/MrJfns).