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Director General of Tax Administration, Vinette Keene, has urged managers to evaluate employees based on the value they add to an organization, and to focus on results, rather than the activities being carried out by employees to produce these results.
Mrs. Keene was delivering the main address on (Sept. 24) at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administration (CATA) Commonwealth Management Development Programme (CMDP) 2007, which is being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
“Precious time that could be devoted to developing employees, or strategic planning, or producing results, is wasted on meaningless activities. As an activity becomes part of the routine, it tends to become more important than the purpose for which it was intended to serve. Some activities become so entrenched that they are believed to be indispensable.
Managers push the persons reporting to them to do activities rather than produce results,” she stated. Mrs. Keene pointed out that in these situations, employees are evaluated in terms of their activities, rather than by the value they add. “Employees therefore fall in a rut and go through the motions. They become bored, feel alienated, and may leave for the proverbial greener pasture, or become psychologically retired,” she noted.
This, she said, has serious consequences for the organization and in addition, the organization loses its source of productive potential as people are not able to grow in their jobs. “Everybody loses as the organization suffers from stagnation and managerial malaise,” she stated.
The Director General stressed that it is important that management spearheads plans and direct the efforts of technically skilled employees to achieving the objectives of the organization. “Management must focus on the management of the process to get effective results, instead of focusing on the process itself. Emphasis must be on results,” she asserted.
The Commonwealth Management Development Programme (CMDP) is a six-week initiative for senior tax officials from the Commonwealth and consists of two modules.
The first module, which will take place over four weeks, will cover tax administration and will be led by facilitators from Australia’s taxation office. The main objective of this module is to develop the skills, confidence and willingness to implement current management and tax administration practices and techniques in the respective departments of the participants.
Meanwhile, the second module will concentrate on the improvement of compliance enforcement using the New Zealand system as a model.
The course aims to, among other things: extend participants’ management and perspective skills; enable participants to review and revisit their management practices; develop participants’ confidence to enable them to apply new skills to the workplace; challenge participants’ current thinking and practices; examine trends in the Commonwealth tax administrations; and share and examine different and best practices in certain areas of tax administration.
The CMDP 2007 participants are drawn from Jamaica, Ghana, Grenada, Malawi, Namibia, St. Lucia, Swaziland, and Uganda.