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‘Sars derived no value from Gartner's redesign of IT system’

Barry Hore says skilled and experienced people pushed out of Sars should be invited back in order to help turn the organisation around.

FILE: Former Sars COO Barry Hore. Picture: Sars.

PRETORIA - The South African Revenue Services (Sars)’s former chief operations officer says the organisation derived no value from consultancy firm Gartner's redesign of the IT system, instead it introduced unnecessary bureaucracy.

Barry Hore testified at the Nugent Commission's public hearings in Pretoria on Thursday.

His successor Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane testified on Wednesday, she is the former head of IT at the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Hore says instead of adding efficiency, Gartner’s model slowed the system down.

“This is nothing more than huge governance overload and bureaucracy. It added no extra real governance in checks and balances. It actually slowed everything down and broke pieces that were working.”

He says the organisation still has the skills and expertise to turn it around.

“There are other people still in Sars, put them back in the right job and you are 80% on the way. And just remove the people who, with respect, know something about taxes and customs - it’s not water affairs.”

Hore says skilled and experienced people pushed out of Sars should be invited back in order to help turn the organisation around.

He was pushed out by commissioner Tom Moyane; email correspondence reveals how officials at consultancy firm Bain celebrated his departure.

Hore says Sars still has many skilled staff who should be put into proper positions of authority and be allowed to do their work.

But he also says those forced out should be welcomed back.

“And then you need business people who’ve also been shunted out into Pluto to be allowed back in because they understand this process and then you get the engine started again because currently, the engine is dead, there’s no plan.”

Hore says he was not consulted prior to Moyane’s decision to halt the modernisation program in 2014.

Acting Sars commissioner Mark Kingon is scheduled to testify on Friday.