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Sars wasted funds on travel, litigation, neglected IT, Nugent Commission told

The commission has heard numerous accounts of how Sars’ IT systems have not been properly upgraded since 2014.

FILE: Retired Judge Robert Nugent pictured on 2 July 2018. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - A South African Revenue Service executive has revealed how the organisation squandered funds on non-core expenses while neglecting to upgrade IT infrastructure.

Acting head of business and individual tax Fabian Murray has testified at the Nugent commission of inquiry public hearings in Pretoria on Monday.

The commission has heard numerous accounts of how Sars’ IT systems have not been properly upgraded since 2014.

Murray says it was not a case of Treasury not allocating budget.

"The reality is that during the past four years a huge amount of funds that was allocated to modernise our systems we were not able to use and therefore it was returned to National Treasury. So a part of the current shortfall in funding is a direct result of our inability to spend the allocated funds."

He listed areas where the funds were spent.

"... international travels, litigation, consultants, bloated exco support staff, unwarranted security upgrades and the balance of available funds were returned to National Treasury as Sars could not spend the allocated funds."

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