Revenue Scotland publishes second three-year corporate plan
It is three years since LBTT and SLfT became operational in Scotland, with ‘Revenue Scotland’ having responsibility for the collection and management of the devolved taxes.
The birth of a new tax authority is a rare thing, and Revenue Scotland is to be commended for having established its IT systems, processes and a core professional staff in a relatively short time frame.
Revenue Scotland’s second three year Corporate Plan has now been published, together with a shorter summary leaflet. It sets out Revenue Scotland’s vision, purpose and objectives for the period 2018-21.
Section 11, RSTPA 2014, requires Revenue Scotland to prepare a corporate plan and submit it for approval by the Scottish Ministers. The corporate plan must be for a three-year period and must set out:
- Revenue Scotland's main objectives for the planning period
- the outcomes by reference to which the achievement of the main objectives may be measured, and
- the activities which Revenue Scotland expects to undertake during the planning period.
The core themes and objectives are stated as:
- Excelling in Delivery: Establish ourselves as experts in what we do: collecting and managing the devolved taxes through an accessible, convenient and taxpayer-focussed service.
- Investing in Our People: Develop and support a highly skilled and engaged workforce upholding the standards of professionalism and integrity.
- Reaching Out: Build on our reputation as an accessible, collaborative and transparent public body, keen to learn from others and share our experiences and expertise.
- Looking Ahead: Plan and deliver change and improvements to our systems and processes flexibly, on time and on budget.
It is obvious that much thought has been devoted to the creation of the corporate plan. Worthy of note is the table of KPIs (see page 14-15 of the shorter summary or 24-25 of the longer document).
ICAS and its Scottish Taxes Committee look forward to continuing to work with Revenue Scotland. Questions nevertheless remain whether Revenue Scotland is measuring the right KPIs – for instance, customer satisfaction ratings do not currently feature in the listing. The KPIs centre upon statistical processing of data, which could be described as inwardly, rather than outwardly, focused. It could be said that if the internal functionality is working at its best, the external customer relations should mirror it.
The real challenge for Revenue Scotland as it enters its next three-year cycle is to evolve whilst being able to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. If transparency is truly the name of the game, it should be able to publish its stakeholder surveys and feedback and demonstrate how that feedback has been acted upon.