SARS Head of Technology receives prestigious award
SARS Head of Technology Receives Prestigious Award: Intikhab Shaik. Image Credit: SANews

South African Revenue Service (SARS) Head of Technology and Solutions Delivery (TSD), Intikhab Shaik, has been awarded the accolade of Visionary Chief Information Officer of the Year.

The honour was bestowed on Shaik by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA).

SARS in a statement said what made the prestigious accomplishment so noteworthy is that Shaik’s work was compared against industry peers in both the private and public sectors.

“The determination that his performance is unmatched and stands head and shoulders above all others is a testament to the quality of his technology leadership. It was during the period of COVID-19 that the genius of Mr Shaik and his team shone the brightest,” read the statement.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said: “During the various levels of lockdown, Mr Shaik and his team designed and implemented more than 40 digital in-house solutions that enabled SARS to continue to deliver its services to taxpayers and to deliver on its core mandate of collecting all revenue due.

“The continued operation of SARS during this time was measurably enabled through the enabling technology platform built by the TSD team under Intikhab’s leadership. This contributed measurably to the economy of the country functioning despite the severe restrictions imposed during COVID-19. We are immensely proud of this contribution and believe that this public recognition is well deserved,” said the Commissioner on Monday.

He said the capability of SARS to use data science, artificial intelligence and enabling technology innovation was best demonstrated by the implementation of auto-assessments that covered well over four million taxpayers.

“This is in line with the Strategic Intent to make compliance easy for honest taxpayers whilst making it hard and costly for those who seek to defraud the tax system,” said Kieswetter.

He said the exceptional achievement of the TSD team dovetails with the SARS vision of building “a smart modern SARS with unquestionable integrity, trusted and admired”.

This, he said, “is aligned with the collective orientation of the organisation to regard its contribution as a rare privilege in serving South Africa and all its people”.

“What Shaik has achieved at SARS since he joined the organisation more than 30 years ago, speaks aptly to his ability to demonstrate personal and intellectual mastery in his field. It communicates his exceptional competence in how he manages his team to bring about the positive impact on his personal brand and the SARS brand and reputation,” read the statement.

SARS said it was proud of Shaik’s achievements for continuously improving the important interface between the organisation and taxpayers and traders.

“The recognition he has achieved resoundingly confirms that industry players acknowledge the strides that SARS has made, notwithstanding the financial constraints that the organisation faces. Hearty congratulations to Mr Shaik and the team,” the revenue collector said. –