GRA’s receptionist area not a welcoming one for taxpayers

Dear Editor,

On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at about 10.45 am, I had an interesting encounter while conducting my usual business at the Guyana Revenue Authority.   Since the organisation has been relocated to the Camp Street building, besides parking being a thorn in one’s side, there are the other issues when one enters the building.

However, there are three pleasant individuals – one who seems to be the supervisor and two clerks ‒ who sit in the receptionist’s area and who try to help as best as they can.  I think hats should be taken off to these individuals taking into consideration their environment.  The space is cramped and appears to be hot, since they are often seen fanning when any free time comes around.  The desk space where the various forms are kept is totally inadequate, and to compound the issue all mail for the organisation is lodged at the receptionist’s desk.  There is a barrier on top of the cubicle, which means that taxpayers have either to stretch their necks over the top or bend down to the space provided below to speak with the staff.  When this happens, the rear end of the taxpayer is now in the way of persons passing by.  This was brought to mind a few weeks ago when a taxpayer asked another taxpayer to remove his … out of the way.  There are times when there is a crowd that you cannot even see the staff sitting there.

To add icing to the cake there is what took place on Wednesday, July 3.  I went there to see a supervisor.  I explained to the elder of the three individuals what I wanted, and just as the employee began to attend to me a lady who I later learnt was the manager walked into the already cramped space and declared that she wanted to speak to the staff member attending to me.  The staff member politely told her that when she was finished attending to me she would talk to her.  In a raised voice the lady said no, let someone else deal with him or have him wait.  Where did this manager learn her managerial skills?  Imagine me going to another one of the staff to explain myself all over again after waiting about 10 minutes to get attended to.  Why couldn’t the manager ask the member of staff to visit her office when she had some time.

I think the Guyana Revenue Authority should have proper training for their managers especially those who are required to interact with staff who work under the poor conditions I have observed in the receptionist’s area.  It is surely not a welcoming area for taxpayers.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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