Revenue Administration

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The public administrations in all over the world are within a transformation period during the last 25 years with the perspective of the new public management (NPM). Turkish public administrations are also within the transformation period especially after the legislation with Public Financial Management and Control Law No: 5018. The process of change in allocation and use of resources; effectiveness and efficiency, performance-based budget, fiscal transparency and strengthening of accountability, internal control issues came into force. It also provided that the public administrations should prepare a five-year strategic plan covering their medium- and long-term objectives, basic principles and policies, aims and priorities, performance criteria, and methods to achieve these objectives and resource allocations. In 2005 General Directorate of Revenue has been abolished and the “Turkish Revenue Administration” has been established as a semi-autonomous authority of the Ministry of Finance. Turkish Revenue Administration (TRA) is an organization which has the main duty of carrying out revenue policy with justice and impartiality and collecting revenues with the least cost; ensuring tax payer compliance; protecting taxpayers’ rights and providing high quality services, taking necessary measures in order to ensure that taxpayers implement their obligations easily. It must show respect to main principles of transparency, accountability, participation, productivity, effectiveness, and customer focus view in its main duties. However; transition from a traditional organization to a new public management needs a long term change management to transform the organizational culture. TRA decided to implement EFQM Excellence Model as a total quality management model and started to implement an EU funded “Technical Assistance for Introduction of Quality Management in the Revenue Administration” Project ( GEMİ Project) in 2011.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Turkish Revenue Administration (TRA) started to write the project on implementing the EFQM Model in 2007 and it also clearly set out the objective of becoming a benchmark organization in implementing EFQM Model in it’s Strategic Plan 2009-2013. Another objective set out in strategic plan was, increasing the voluntary tax compliance and the three goals set under this objective were: improvement of service quality and development of new service types and simplifying and standardizing the procedures. The project had begun to be implemented on 10 January 2011 and it is ended by 1 November 2012. The project was composed of two components: trainings and implementation of EFQM Model. It is implemented on pilot area consisting TRA Headquarter, Ankara Tax Office Directorate and 6 pilot Tax Office. The objective of the project was to improve the quality of tax payer services, achieve an increase in voluntary compliance with the tax system and increase the tax revenues while increasing the administrative capacity of TRA and ensuring the employee and tax payer satisfaction. In order to achieve these goals; first, the human resources needed to be trained on EFQM Model to sustain the awareness on EFQM Model. Secondly, the infrastructure to implement the EFQM Model was needed to be established. EFQM model is a holistic framework that systematically addresses organizational quality issues. It provides diagnosis of an organization’s activities, it is useful as a reference for strategic planning and it forms a link between its activities and the results. Also, it provides a continuous improvement by the view of innovation. In order to make EFQM sustainable, the staff who will directly deal with the implementation of EFQM needed to gain competency on the basic tools of EFQM which are namely self-assessment and benchmarking. EFQM Model is a framework with its nine criteria and organizations need to develop tools for accomplishing those criterias. TRA needed to establish process based management system on the criteria of processes and it also needed to establish Suggestion Improvement System for employees and Feedback System for taxpayers in order to increase their satisfaction and also sustain continuous innovation by taking their feedback. Also, the tax payer and employer satisfaction survey is needed to be developed to measure the results. Since, the establishment of a new management system as total quality management has two sided effects; both the employees and the tax payers were the target audiences in this project.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Total Quality Management is commonly used in private enterprises whereas public institutions are generally managed in a traditional way. TRA is one of the forerunners among public organizations and it is the largest public organization that initiates EFQM Model. TRA did two self assessments. A self assessment is done by the experts who are experienced assessors of EFQM. The improvable and strong areas of TRA are reported as a result of the assessment. After priority areas for improvement are determined, 17 improvement teams were formed and they either finalized a project on improvement area or they proposed a solution to the administration. A second self assessment is done at the end of the project by the TRA self assessment team. The improvement teams used the problem solving techniques and they had the chance to experience solving a problem with a team. Three projects of improvement teams were finalized during the period of the GEMİ Project. These were the 360 Degree Leadership Survey, Electronic Documentation System (DYİAS) and the Employee Communication Platform. The Feedback System for tax payers and Suggestion Improvement System for employees is established in order to have a sustainable innovation through feedbacks both from employees and tax payers.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Strategic Development Department of TRA designed the project and the EFQM Team which was established with the initiation of the Project, ensured the proper and timely implementation of activities, supervision and management of this Project. The Consultant firm was responsible for the correct performance of all the tasks required in Terms of Reference. The Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU) and the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey (EUD) has worked in close cooperation with the TRA to ensure the complete and timely implementation of all activities and preparation of all technical, financial and administrative deliverables. Project Executing Committee, Project Steering Committee was responsible with the monitoring of the Project. Besides, the staff who were trained during the project to take part on specific teams had contributed to the implementation of specific activities. Customer and people satisfaction surveys were subcontracted to a professional survey company.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The total budget of the Project was 1.184.300 €. %75 of the budget is funded by EU and %25 is funded by Turkish government. All financial, technical issues are regulated and implemented according to the contract between the consultant and the Central Finance and Contract Unit of Turkish Government. TRA mobilized the in-house trainers during the project time scale although it was out of terms of reference in order to complete the awareness trainings all over the country as soon as possible.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
• Suggestion Improvement System is established for employees. The system is available for the whole administration staff all around Turkey. Through the system employees contribute to the innovation and process improvement. They can send their suggestions on tax payer service processes, legal issues and working environment. • Complaint Management System is established for taxpayers’ to improve compliance with the tax system. This system is also accessible by all taxpayers all around Turkey. The tax payers can send both their suggestions and problems on services. • The people selected for taking active part in Self Assessments process had got proper training and guided by experts to execute self assessment at the pilot offices. In that respect a team of 60 gained the required competency satisfactorily. EFQM Model has been accepted as the basic tool for the assessment of the strategic management quality of the administration. The self assessment team done a self assessment at the end of the project on the pilot areas and they continue to do self assessments in other cities and this works as a trigger to deploy the improvement activities. • One of the improvable areas determined by the self assessment was the abcense of a general leadership term through out the organization. The improvement team working on the leadership issue, set a pilot implementation on 360 Degree Leadership Survey; which is a tool enables the leaders to evaluate themselves and enables them to get feedback from their subordinates, peers and supervisors. After the pilot implementation, TRA deployed its implementation to all departments within the headquarter and it is recognized as a basic tool for the evaluation of leadership. • DYİAS is established as result of the works done by both improvement and process teams. It is a software that is being used in TRA, through which all the correspondences are done electronically within the Headquarter. It resulted in both time and paper saving.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The activities within the framework of the project were monitored through Project Executive and Project Steering Committees. Project Executive Committee, was consisting three group managers, seven managers and representatives from the Consultant, was meeting every month. This Committee was responsible for monitoring the execution and efficiency of the project together with the Consultant. The developments and problems of the project were reported to the Steering Committee in every three months. Project Steering Committee was composed of the representatives of the TRA (Department of Strategy Development, Department of Taxpayer Services, Department of Human Resources, Human Resources Group Directorate, Implementation and Data Management Directorate and Ankara Tax Office Directorate), CFCU, EC Delegation and Consultant. According to the periodical reports of the Project Executive Committee, the Project Steering Committee was responsible to take the necessary measures for the well-being of the project. The chairperson of the Steering Committee was the Head of the Department of Strategy Development. The Steering Committee could have invite people from other relevant departments and tax offices depending on the agenda of the meeting. The responsibility of the Steering Committee was: - to provide overall guidance during the implementation of the project, - to monitor all activities of the project, - to receive and evaluate the reports to be submitted by the project team, - to review the consultant’s inception report, progress reports, work plans and to make recommendations as appropriate, - to ensure coordination and co-operation between the TRA, provincial organizations and tax offices.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The employees had no belief that the change could be accomplished, at the beginning of the project. Besides, middle level managers were resistant against the total quality management. The leaders have vital importance in change management to enhance the support of employees. Thus, in order to increase the awareness about the total quality; in addition to the trainings and communication activities, there are several workshops arranged to disseminate the results of the activities. The managers had separate trainings on leadership, self assessment and process management. In order to enhance the participatory management system, senior managers are participated in improvement teams whereas the leaders of the teams were selected among the employees.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The overall objective was to improve the administrative capacity and efficiency of the tax administration in line with the fiscal blueprints and to align the Turkish tax system with the EU directives. The project has contributed to producing significant direct impact based on the capacity developed through trainings and workshops relevant to the TRA staffs on the EFQM model. The project gives the first input to a long term process of introducing quality management, and its impact should be seen in this perspective. At the end of the project the TRA received the certification of “Commitment to Excellence” from EFQM as a result of the successful activities done within the project. TRA is the first central government institution that is introducing a total quality management system. The success of this project will create a good example for other central government organizations to adopt the EFQM quality management model and even obtain the certification in the long term. Likewise, TRA deals with every citizen and business in the country and changing into a client-friendly organization will have a positive effect on the government in general, while a voluntary compliance with the acquis will be mobilized. Furthermore, the results of the self assessments are used as input for the preparation of new Strategic Plan.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
As in every project, sustainability of project outputs is a key element for successful project implementation. Therefore, it is paid attention to create sustainable outputs throughout the Project implementation period. Thus, the imminent benefit of this Project is that the TRA could keep and improve a core group with the experience and knowledge to implement similar activities in future; many of its centre and local staff was trained and various systems are established in line with the EFQM. There are well-established mechanisms to ensure further trainings and capacity building activities such as benchmarking study visits and self assessments. The in- house trainers still continue to give EFQM trainings to the new recruits currently by the yearly training plannings. The EFQM Team which was responsible for the implementation of the project is continuing to work on the deployment of EFQM Model under the Quality Assurance Unit. They also, continue to organize the self assessments, surveys, 360 leadership survey, benchmarkings and work on the following project designs. The Suggestion Improvement and Feedback Systems developed within the project were integrated in the main hardware and software of the TRA, and their maintenance is provided by the TRA by the establishment of teams working on these systems under Quality Assurance Unit. Since, self assessments are main inputs for both the preparation and evaluation of strategic planning the self assessment teams are doing self assessments when it is planned by the EFQM team. Furthermore, during the preparation of the Strategic Plan of the TRA for 2014-2018 the improvable areas and strong areas are taken into consideration. The mission of TRA is stated in its strategic plan for 2014 -2018 as: “To collect tax and other revenues by delivery of quality service and to increase voluntary tax compliance with the respect of tax payer rights.” Increasing the voluntary tax compliance and delivery of quality services are also set out as separate objectives on Strategic Plan.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The TRA is a huge organization employing nearly 40,000 people with offices all around the country. It is not at all a simple case for the deployment and sustainability. The very first thing is to achieve is to institutionalize the approach. It should no remain bounded to the certain leaders. The way of managing the affairs, the approach should be sound and integrated. The extent to which the approach has a clear rationale, defined processes and focuses on stakeholder needs; the soundness of an approach requires that an organisation can explain the rationale behind choosing it; for instance by means of research or benchmarking. A sound approach will be underpinned by clearly defined and developed processes, and will also focus on the needs of the stakeholders. The extent to which the approach supports policy and strategy, and is linked to other approaches where appropriate should be clear. Integration is all about how the organisation aligns its approach with its overall policy and strategy; the degree to which the approach has been integrated needs to be supported by examples. In addition it is needed that all approaches should be deployed all around the organization and deployment requires systematic implementation. For the systematic implementation, the approach should be implemented in different levels within the organisation’s hierarchy in different locations and an implementation plan should be developed with clear ownership, involving extensive communication. The systematic implementation should be completed with the review and assessment of the effectiveness of the approaches and the measurement of the processes and learning processes should be used to drive improvements. For all processes, performance indicators and targets should be set to measure the performance of the processes. Thus, a performance measurement system should be established following the establishment of the process management.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Revenue Administration
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Melike Başar
Title:   EFQM Team member  
Telephone/ Fax:   +903124153532
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Gelir iDaresi Başkanlığı İlkadım Cad. 17.Kat
Postal Code:   06450
City:   Ankara

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