Message from the Minister and Accountability Statement
The 2004/2005 service plan report represents my first full year as Revenue Minister and I am proud of what we have accomplished working together as a team and with our stakeholders.
I am particularly proud of the ministry's achievements in customer service excellence, including the introduction of the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code. Developed in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, British Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Retail Merchants' Association of British Columbia, Retail Council of Canada, Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and Sales Tax Practitioners Liaison Committee, the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code sets out the fairness and service principles that we follow when dealing with our customers. We believe by creating the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code we will strengthen our relationship with our customers. By working to resolve problems faster or avoiding them altogether, customers will need to spend less time dealing with government and have more time to grow their businesses that contribute to economic growth and prosperity throughout British Columbia.
The ministry further improved customer service by holding Customer Information Sessions throughout British Columbia to assist taxpayers to better understand their rights and responsibilities and increase voluntary compliance. The ministry also launched the Appeals Administration Project to speed up the appeals process and developed, with the Canada Revenue Agency, an education unit for high school students to create awareness about Canada's taxation system and the function of taxes in supporting important government services like health care and education.
In late 2004, the ministry entered into an alliance with EDS Advanced Solutions, Inc. for the management and delivery of revenue services under one revenue management system. This consolidation will streamline functions and simplify processes, helping to build on our goal of customer service excellence.
In February 2005, our government delivered another balanced budget. The Ministry of Provincial Revenue played an important part in achieving this goal through fair, efficient and equitable revenue and debt collection.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the dedication and professionalism of ministry staff. The goals set for this service plan were ambitious and staff rose to the challenge. On behalf of all British Columbians, I want to thank all the ministry staff for their dedication, focus and hard work over the past year.
The 2004/05 Ministry of Provincial Revenue Annual Service Plan Report compares the actual results to the expected results identified in the ministry's 2004/05 Service Plan. I am accountable for those results as reported.
Additionally, under the Balanced Budget and Ministerial Accountability Act, I am accountable for earning $240 million in incremental revenue in respect of revenues payable under enactments administered by the Minister of Provincial Revenue. As of March 31, 2005, $330.7 million was achieved.
I look forward to building on these successes and achieving new goals and targets as we move to a Golden Decade in British Columbia.
Honourable Rick Thorpe
May 31, 2005