FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE
External Governance Framework
The legislations and rules that determine the governance structure of FIRS are:
1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (CFRN):
Item 59 of the Second Schedule to the Constitution places taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, except as otherwise prescribed by the Constitution, in the Exclusive Legislative List. This is the ground norm for the governance framework of FIRS.
2. The FIRS Act 2007
The FIRS Act established the Federal Inland Revenue Service as a body corporate. The Act is divided into 8 parts and 5 schedules and also specifies the following:
- Establishment and composition of the FIRS Management Board.
- Powers and functions of the Board and the Service, including the establishmen and functions of the Technical Committee of the Board (TECOM). Among other important functions, TECOM considers all tax matters that require professional and technical expertise and thereafter makes recommendations to the Board.
- Management and staff of the Service including the appointment of the Board
- Secretary, pensions and staff regulations. Staff regulations refer to the power of the FIRS Board to make regulations relating generally to the conditions of service of staff including appointment and promotion, termination, dismissal and discipline of staff, and appeals against dismissal or other disciplinary measures.
- Financial powers of the Service.
- Tax administration and enforcement powers of the Service.
- Offences and penalties.
- Other general and miscellaneous provisions.
3. Public Procurement Act 2007:
This Act commenced on 4 June 2007, as an Act to establish the National Council on Public Procurement and the Bureau of Public Procurement as Regulatory authorities responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement, harmonizing the existing government policies and practices by regulating, setting standards and developing the legal framework and professional capacity for public procurement in Nigeria, and for related matters.
The objectives of the Bureau of Public Procurement are:
The harmonization of existing government policies and practices on public procurement and ensuring probity, accountability and transparency in the procurement process
The establishment of pricing standards and benchmarks
Ensuring the application of fair, competitive, transparent. value-for-money standards and practices for the procurement and disposal of public assets and services and
The attainment of transparency, competitiveness, cost effectiveness and professionalis in public sector procurement system.
4. Freedom of Information Act 2011:
The Freedom of Information Bill was signed into law by the President on May 28, 2011. The objectives of the law are as follows:
- Making Public Records and Information more freely available
- Provision for Public Access to Public Records and Information
- Protection of public records and information consistent with public interest
- Protection of personal privacy.
- Establishment of Procedures for the achievement of the above objectives and related purposes.
5. Public Service Rules (PSR) 2008:
“The main thrust of the 2008 Edition of the Public Service Rules is to ensure that the fundamental ethical issues in the Public Service are strictly adhered to. It is, therefore, aimed at entrenching the issues of transparency, accountability, justice, equity, due process and the rule of law. All these are very paramount to the conduct of Government business, which all Public Servants must imbibe.” – Late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR, 2008.
The PSR makes provision for a wide range of work-related issues including recruitment and appointments, discipline, leave and reward for outstanding service. It is published under the authority of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
6. FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes (HRPP):
This is a handbook of Human Resource procedures and processes in the governance structure of FIRS. It is similar to the PSR. The HRPP provides that where any matter is not provided for by it, recourse shall be made to the PSR, in the first instance. The HRPP is published by the Service and is an essential working tool for all members of the Service.
External Reporting Lines
FIRS, as an agency of the Ministry of Finance, reports to the Honourable Minister of Finance.
Section 51 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act provides that the FIRS Board shall be subject to the general direction of the Minister of Finance and any written direction, order or instruction given by him after consultation with the Executive Chairman shall be carried out by the Board as long as the directive does not require the Board to increase or decrease any assessment of tax or judgement debt due, or which would have the effect of initiating, forbidding the initiation of, withdrawing or altering the normal course of any proceeding whether civil or criminal, relating either to the recovery of any tax or to any tax offence.
Section 60 of the Act states that, “The Minister may give to the Service or the Executive Chairman such directives of a general nature or relating generally to matters of policy with regards to the exercise of its or his functions as he may consider necessary and the Service or the Executive Chairman shall comply with the directives or cause them to be complied with.”