Botswana Unified Revenue Service New Strategic Planning Kicks Off with WCO Diagnostic

07 December 2018

Botswana became the eighth WTO member to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on 18 June 2015. The notification of the status of articles was lodged on 18 March 2018. According to the 2018 Government Budget Speech, the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) is the second largest contributor to the total Government Budget after mineral revenue, the country’s main export earner.

BURS five-year Strategic Plan commenced in April 2014 and will end in March 2019. As part of the research and analysis planning process, the Commissioner-General sought the independent advice of the WCO across all Customs-related areas within BURS. His request was the subsequent Diagnostic Report should guide and influence thinking and decisions for the next Strategic Plan starting in April 2019.

Strategic goals of BURS include the implementation of standards that enhance the role, functions and capabilities of Botswana, in respect of trading across borders and international travel. The WCO evaluated a vertical and horizontal cross-section of all BURS functional areas. The methodology used to assess the various organizational enablers in this diagnostic/environmental scan consisted of pre-mission documentary analysis, in-country discussions with staff and stakeholders, and observations of processes, interactions and demonstrations of the system. The references and standards guiding the assessment were based on the WCO Diagnostic Framework, the WTO TFA Legal Text and the suite of tools, guidance and instruments

The next steps include consultation with staff, other agencies and the private sector. These activities are expected to lead to workshops designed to develop strategic and operational objectives, indicators and measures.

Both BURS and the WCO are keen to continue working together to ensure the successful implementation of their next Strategic Plan.