'Vigilance Wing' empowered to probe tax fraud cases

ISLAMABAD (August 14 2007): The Vigilance Wing of Directorate-General, Intelligence and Investigation, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), has been empowered to co-ordinate with other investigating agencies to probe fraud cases utilising third party data.

Sources told reporters on Monday that the directorate has issued an order specifying the functions, powers and jurisdiction of vigilance wing. It has been empowered to collect information from other law enforcement agencies, on the taxpayers, to investigate tax frauds.

The Vigilance Wing will coordinate with Regional/Field vigilance units. It would be empowered to compile, analyse and maintain data/input on all employees. It would have the authority to transmit integrity input on all employees and issue comprehensive instructions to the field formations.

Sources said that it is a temporary arrangement to allow the directorate to conduct integrity checks of tax officials, and the powers would be withdrawn following implementation of an independent integrity check department.

Till enforcement of FBR Act, 2007, the DG Intelligence 'Vigilance Wing' would keep an eye on employees and handle complaints of corruption lodged against tax officials. However, there would be no need of these powers following setting up of a separate department for such investigations against the tax officials, sources added.

According to DG Intelligence, the Vigilance Wing has now been formally put in place. Director, Intelligence, would look after the Vigilance Wing operations, in addition to his current assignments. Under the plan, the full-fledged regional vigilance units at Karachi and Lahore will start formal functioning from September 1, 2007.

The pending establishment of field vigilance units, at Peshawar and Quetta, respective Additional Director and Deputy Director, Intelligence and Investigation will look after the vigilance operations at these stations.

Deputy Directors, Intelligence and Investigation, Multan, Faisalabad; Gujranwala and Sukkur will perform vigilance functions within their respective jurisdictions, the order added. It is important to mention that the directorate has established 'Vigilance Wing' as part of government's anti-corruption strategy.

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