Minister of Finance Colm Imbert intends to appeal a court ruling which found him in the wrong over a promotion matter at the Board of Inland Revenue.
Imbert made the revelation while correcting the record on Tuesday, after he claimed Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal misrepresented it while touting it in his Budget contribution in Parliament.
“I think it is necessary now since he misrepresented the facts, misquoted, distorted, manipulated the truth, told downright untruths in terms of what really happened in that matter. I think it’s incumbent on me to put the truth into the record,” Imbert said.
Imbert said it was recently determined that the Minister of Finance was responsible for recommending a person for the position of chairman of the BIR to the Cabinet. He said this arose when the substantive chairman retired, creating the need to fill the spot. He said this responsibility was previously mistakenly believed to lie with the Public Service Commission.
“It is not. The law is quite clear, it is the responsibility of the Minister of Finance to make a recommendation to the Cabinet, who will then advise the President to then issue the instrument in favour of whoever had been chosen by the cabinet to be the chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue, whether in a permanent position or in an acting position,” he said.
He said after seeking advice of senior counsel, he was told to look at the four most senior people within BIR, make inquiries and interview each “to arrive at a rational decision.”
He said he discovered one of the senior personnel was under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Inland Revenue Division for alleged tax fraud.
“I, therefore, found myself unable to recommend such a person to act as chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue. I think I would have to be out of my mind to recommend that person to be the chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue.”
He said he was told his decision not to recommend the person for the position was irrational and told by the judge he should have briefed the person on his intent to interrogate the allegations and given them an opportunity to explain their side of the story.