Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DAFF Admits to Shortcomings

Over the course of the past few days, Feike has received requests for assistance from a number of right holders in the abalone and lobster fisheries who had attempted to uplift their annual fishing permits only to be told that levies were outstanding and levy returns were not submitted.

After Feike addressed correspondence to the department reminding them of what the legal position is regarding the "withholding" of permits and the payment of levies, right holders have been contacted to inform them their permits are now ready for collection.

One of our clients confirmed that the DAFF official who phoned him confirmed serious "shortcomings" in the administration of levy returns and levies. Although this is not news to the fishing industry, it once again confirms the parlous state of management at the fisheries branch.

Questions that need to be answered are:

1. What "administrative shortcomings" are being experienced?
2. Does the department know exactly which right holders have paid their levies and which have not?
3. What is the rand value of outstanding levies and what amounts have been collected to date?
4. Why is the department still unable to issue proper tax invoices?
5. Why does the department continue to oblige right holders to tell it what they owe the department in levies?
6. With respect to levy returns, does the department know which right holders have submitted returns and which have not?
7. Has the department lost levy returns for right holders?

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