Conference on Capacity Building concerning Taxation

Draft Annotated agenda

Breakout session 1: Keys to successful capacity building – experiences from Sweden and Botswana
To strengthen the capacity of a tax administration, technical assistance from a partnering tax administration could be an efficient way of transforming knowledge and exchanging experience for the benefit of both parties. Sweden has been involved in several such bilateral projects with different countries since the 1980s. In this session, the example of the collaborative project between Sweden and Botswana from 2010–2016 will be presented. Other stakeholders will also take part in the discussion. The session will discuss lessons learned and key success factors.

Moderator: Mr. Lars Åke Leijkvist, Tax Director, Swedish Tax Agency (STA)

Members of the panel:
Ms. Marie Bergström, Head of Development Cooperation, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Mr. Ken Morris, Commissioner General, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS).
Ms. Gaontebale Morapedi – Principal Revenue Officer, BURS (formerly BURS/STA Project Manager)
Mr. Segolo Lekau, Commissioner Operations, BURS
Mr. Tommy Carlsson, Tax Director, Swedish Tax Agency (Long Term Expert for the project)

Breakout session 2: The IMF and Senegal – How technical assistance led to tax administration reform
Experience points to the importance of sound and comprehensive reform strategies to set the scene for any sustainable tax administration. Senegal was endorsed by the IMF Tax Policy and Administration Topical Trust Fund (TPA TTF). This session aims to highlight lessons learned from this collaboration in 2011–2016. The presenters will outline the various sequences and phases of the overall process. The discussion could explore, for example, whether the recommendations were enough or whether the reform process is a moving target with a constant need to calibrate the instruments and recommendations. There could also be an exchange of views on what broader implications the collaboration might have had, on issues such as gender equality.

Moderator: Mr. Felix Fernandez-Shaw, Director of International Cooperation and Development Policy in DG DEVCO, European Commission, in charge of Budget Support, Public Finance Management, Domestic Revenue Mobilisation.

Members of the panel:
Mr. Amadou Abdoulaye Badiane, Director of Legislation and International Cooperation, Senegal
Mr. Andrew Okello, Deputy Division Chief of the Revenue Administration II in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD)
Ms. Susanna Gable, Chief Economist, Sida

Breakout session 3: The role of regional organisations
The demand for capacity building in tax administrations is growing in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. Many countries with similar conditions or neighboring countries coordinate their efforts to take advantage of possible synergies. Regional organisations play an important role by coordinating and supporting different actions.

This session aims to share experiences from capacity building in different regions. Presentations and discussions will explore the key issues for assistance and the possible benefits for regions of working together within a regional organisation.

Moderator: Mr. Mats Sjöstrand, former Director General of the Swedish Tax Agency (STA)

Members of the panel:
Mr. Frantisek Imrezce, President of the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations (IOTA), Head of Tax Administration of the Slovak Republic.
Ms. Nara Monkam, Director of Research at the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF).
Mr. Marcio Ferreira Verdi, Executive Secretary of the Inter American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT)
Ms. Liliana Castillo, Member of Superintendence of Tax Administration of Guatemala Board of Directors (SAT)

Breakout session 4: The importance of effective interaction between government and business
Interaction between government and business plays a significant role in successful capacity building in any country. Effective resource mobilisation is based on trust between government and business stakeholders.

This session will present examples of effective interaction between government and business to ensure tax certainty. In this process, governments need to ensure the existence of clear and predictable legislation, while tax administration need to uphold predictable procedures. Large and multinational enterprises need to contribute a statement of their responsibility to communities in which they operate.

The session will highlight multifaceted views on how to achieve tax certainty, share experiences of how this can be achieved efficiently and look at challenges present in this process. What roles do tax policies and transparency play in this process?

Moderator: Ms. Susanne Arvidsson, Associate Professor/Docent, Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Sweden

Members of the panel:
Ms. Maria Håkansson, Managing Director, Swedfund
Ms. Darma Romero, Head of Exchange of Information, General revenue Directorate (DGI), Ministry of Economy and Finance, Panama
Mr. Justin Howcutt, Tax Director, Astra Zeneca, United Kingdom
Mr. Alan McLean, Executive Vice President Tax and Corporate Structure, Royal Shell Dutch plc, and Deputy Chair at the Business at OECD (BIAC) Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
Mr. Bastian Buck, Director Sustainability Reporting Standard at Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Breakout session 5: The role of civil society in supporting capacity building
Civil society can play an important role in contributing to fair and sustainable tax systems. This session will include emergent issues such as the interplay between formal and informal institutions and the interaction between institutions and social relations of power, while respecting the need for accountability. The session will present how economic analysis and a policy advisory programme can be used to conduct a comprehensive review of a country’s statutory and regulatory framework and to support reforms. Civil society organisations and networks also have a vital role to play in the skills development process and the relationships needed to improve the budget processes and create change.

Moderator: Mr. Göran Holmqvist, Director, Sida

Members of the panel:
Mr. Tom Cardamone, Managing Director of Global Financial Integrity (GFI)
Mr. Marcio Verdi, Executive Secretary, Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT)
Ms. Susana Ruiz, Global Lead on Tax Justice, Oxfam
Mr. Abelardo Medina Bermejo, Senior Economist, Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (ICEFI)

Breakout session 6: Growing demand for transparency
In recent years, development in the exchange of information – in particular Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and automatic exchange of e.g. financial information – has contributed to greater transparency in terms of tax strategies.

The current trend gives rise to questions concerning tax policies and greater interest from individuals and companies in different tax systems and taxes paid. Tax transparency has become an important factor to which tax administrations, countries and companies must relate and adapt.

The session will identify and discuss the benefits of increased transparency in tax administrations. The discussion could explore: How can countries and tax administrations build capacity to implement international standards and meet the need for transparency?

Moderator: Mr. Hans Christian Holte, Director General, Norwegian Tax Administration

Members of the panel:
Ms. Monica Bhatia, Head of Secretariat, OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes
Mr. Lasha Khutsishvili, Vice Minister of Finance of Georgia
Ms. Penny Davies, Senior Policy Adviser – Development Finance, Diakonia

Breakout session 7: Digital identification – building trust through development
The digital transformation offers endless opportunities for both businesses and governments in their interaction with customers and citizens. For example, to offer convenient and effective services and to maintain trust in the system, the ability to identify the person or company interacting is crucial. In every nation, personal identification is at the core of fundamental rights and the basis of public registration, taxation and general infrastructure. Digitalization offers the possibility to have both development and trust, which is essential in a solid tax system.

The purpose of the session is to demonstrate the importance of trust – for citizens, companies and government or municipal authorities alike – and to show how trust can be built by using accessible and safe digital solutions.

Moderator: Ms. Katrin Westling Palm, Director General, Swedish Tax Agency

Members of the panel:
Ms. Elizabeth Meyo, Deputy Commissioner, Kenyan Revenue Authority
Mr. Hans Becker, CEO and Founder, Redflash Mobile
Ms. Veronica Sireteanu, State Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Moldova
Ms. Airi Jansen-Uueda, Manager of Special Proceedings Area, Estonian Tax and Customs Board
Ms. Annika Bränström, Permanent Secretary, Swedish E-identification Board

Breakout session 8: Meeting the challenges of the Addis Tax Initiative
The Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) is a multi-stakeholder partnership of development partners and partner countries that aims to catalyse significant increases in domestic revenue and improve the transparency, fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of tax systems in partner countries. Since its launch in 2015, 56 countries and organisations have joined the initiative. The ATI is also a commitment to doubling capacity building efforts by 2020.

The session aims to identify key opportunities and challenges in relation to the Addis Tax Initiative.

Moderator: Ms. Nara Monkam, Director of Research at the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF)

Members of the Panel:
Mr. Steve Rozner, Senior Fiscal Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development, co-chair ATI, Steering Committee
Mr. Fredrik Aksnes, Programme Manager for Capacity Building, Norwegian Tax Administration
Mr. James A. Brumby, Director of Public Sector & Institutions the Governance Global Practice, World Bank

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