The terms of this Code of Conduct will be binding upon every person appointed as a Facilitator ("the Facilitator") by the South African Revenue Service ("SARS") to facilitate the alternative dispute resolution process ("ADR) as contemplated in rule 7 of the rules promulgated under the provisions of section 107A of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No. 58 of 1962).
Every Facilitator is duty bound to build the integrity, fairness and efficacy of the ADR process and to preserve the independence and impartiality of the Facilitator.
||Every Facilitator must:-
||Conduct himself or herself with honesty and integrity and with courtesy to all parties;
||Act in good faith and with impartiality to all parties;
||Either decline on appointment or obtain technical assistance when a case is outside their field of competence;
||Duly act within the prescripts of the facilitation process and the law;
||Respect time and attempt to bring the dispute to an expeditious conclusion;
||Resist the exercise of improper influence from any person outside the facilitation process; and
||Continuously seek to upgrade his or her proficiency in the handling of tax disputes, skill and knowledge.
||A Facilitator must immediately disclose to the parties and to SARS any fact that is likely to either affect his or her impartiality or create the impression that his or her impartiality is effected.
||A Facilitator should decline an appointment if a conflict of interest exists that will give rise to bias.
||If one of the parties requests the Facilitator to recuse him or herself, the Facilitator may do so if it will facilitate the resolution of the dispute.
||SARS may not remove a facilitator once he or she has commenced with the ADR process, save by the request of the Facilitator or by agreement between both parties.
||Information disclosed to the Facilitator in confidence by a party during the course of the facilitation should be kept by facilitators in the strictest confidence and should not be disclosed to the other party unless authority is obtained for such disclosure from the party that disclosed the information.
||The proceedings and outcome of all processes and related documentation will remain confidential, unless all the parties to the process agree otherwise or disclosure is allowed by any law.
||Conclusion of Facilitation
Facilitators should reduce all agreements, settlement or a recommendation (if requested by both parties) to writing in a clear and concise format.
||The SARS has the right to request parties to submit evaluations of the Facilitation Process, including an assessment of the Facilitator, from any party, which evaluations the SARS is entitled to treat confidentially.
||SARS may remove a Facilitator from the list of facilitators for good reason, which includes the incompetence of the facilitator.