Corporatisition as an instrument for improved efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery:The case of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)

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Kaluba, Mateyo Chresta
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As Governments have sought to deliver services more effectively and efficiently to citizens, restructuring government has achieved a new dimension of importance. Traditional government structures organised along hierarchical lines are in some cases viewed as rigid and therefore unable to respond to the changing needs of society. This view to traditional Government structures has led to the introduction of systems and structures in which government functions, responsibilities and powers are being devolved to agencies or statutory bodies that act on their behalf. One area of Government that has been devolved to statutory bodies has been tax administration. The creation of semi-autonomous revenue authorities has been expected to meet goals of improved tax collections, better service to taxpayers, and more flexible management of tax collection bodies. The argument for revenue authorities has mainly been that they are more effective and efficient than traditional Government structures. However, there have been doubts as to the certainty of these efficiencies especially that their creation has resulted in higher personal emoluments and related costs. The long-term implications of these higher costs on national resources has led to questions being asked on whether or not modern tax collection systems could not be introduced within the mainstream Government system at a cheaper and more efficient cost. This study therefore, while focusing on the Zambia Revenue Authority, looks into the use of corporate bodies in public service delivery. This is done by analysing key stakeholder perceptions and performance indicators to draw lessons that can be used to make decisions on how appropriate the creation of semi-autonomous corporate structures is as when seeking to improve public service delivery.
Public Service Delivery-Zambia