Sun | Jun 13, 2021

People's Report: No to handwriting on certificates of fitness

Published:Thursday | August 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Successive governments have, over the years, turned the searchlight on taxpayers, but not on itself as one of the primary reasons why tax-collection expectations have never been met.

And, sometimes we are forced to ponder whether Albert Einstein has ever appealed to them - they keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. So, according to their theory - the taxpayers are tax dodgers and are unwilling to pay.

But what is the reality? You go into the collectorate - as I did one recent morning - and it's the first working day of the month. And I deem it an extension of the month end. The line to the cashier extends to the door and there are only two cashiers working - their demeanour clearly enunciating that they wished it was five minutes away from closing time and that there is no care in this world whether you have a job that you must return to by a particular time.

Well, I made my way to the top of the line and was told the examiner who wrote my certificate of fitness wrote the '2' as though it were a 'Z' and I needed to return to the examination depot.

I sought hearing with someone who I assumed to be the manager of the unit and was told if the cashier is uncomfortable with it, she could not do anything, as it was the cashier who has to process the transaction.

She then referred me to the cashier's direct supervisor. The supervisor came with the same argument, and I wondered the necessity for the different layers of authority.

My argument was: Have you looked at it? What do you see outside of what the cashier said?

I took the trek to the depot and everyone laughed when they looked at the number. I knew that they had forced me into wasting a valuable commodity - my time - but since they are the ones who call the shots, I complied.

But this also brings into sharp focus the critical need to advance the depot beyond handwritten certificates of fitness or any other such documents that they produce. Why, in this technology-driven age, are the taxpayers left to the mercy of the interpretation of the hand-writers and readers of the writing?

Errors and time-wasting are costly to taxpayers, and if the Government is serious about the tax-collection process, these variables must be addressed now.

Pat Williams