The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has commended the newly appointed Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner General, John S. Biziwick, for promoting integrity as a corporate priority.
This follows a virtual meeting WCO representatives had with Biziwick on 7 September 2020 to discuss the organization’s Anti-Corruption and Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme for Customs.
“The WCO A-CIP Programme in Malawi is timely, as Mr. Biziwick stated his intention to re-energize and embed integrity within his organization’s culture,” WCO says in an article published on its website.
WCO said the virtual discussion with Biziwick focused on entrenching all initiatives in the fight against corruption and promotion of integrity within the corporate strategy and on linking such initiatives, including those under the WCO A-CIP Programme, to performance indicators in order to ensure words are converted into concrete actions.
The Commissioner General assured the WCO that “not only the performance of Internal Affairs Division must be measured against integrity indicators but the contribution of all areas having an impact on integrity must be assessed as well.’’
WCO pledged to work with MRA in a collective action against corruption.
The WCO commendation comes barely a few weeks after the new Commissioner General issued an administrative notice to all MRA members in which he demanded staff to maintain high levels on integrity.
“I wish to remind staff that we will not tolerate corruption and unethical behavior. Lack of integrity costs money and time, damages the reputation of a tax administration and undermines the trust and respect of taxpayers. It is, therefore, important that integrity must indeed be our core value in practice and part our of organization culture,” urged Biziwick in the administrative notice.
The Commissioner General, therefore, announced some new initiatives that would ensure that MRA is a corrupt-free tax administration such as the re-introduction of Whistle Blower programme - Tip-Offs Anonymous Scheme - for staff and providing sufficient resources to the Internal Affairs Division within MRA.
WCO, established in 1952, is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations
It represents 183 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. MRA joined the WCO in 1966.
The A-CIP Programme was launched in January 2019. It aims at improving the business environment for cross-border trade in selected WCO member countries by making changes to the operational and administrative context that restricts corrupt behavior and promotes good governance in customs operations and administration
By Wadza Otomani