News / Bulletins from the Executive Director of CATA, Duncan Onduru














Final Communique from the 2016 Technical Conference

At the conclusion on 11 November of the very successful 37th Annual Technical Conference in Bridgetown, Barbados, the members of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators agreed to issue the following Final Communique.  An account of the Conference proceedings will be published on this web site shortly.

Final Communique


Barbados exceeds expectations as CATA returns to its cradle

The verdict has been delivered - the 37th CATA Technical Conference was a resounding success. The results of the post Conference evaluation indicate that for the majority of delegates, the Barbados event exceeded expectations both in terms of the technical content but also in the area of logistics.

That the 2016 Conference was being held in Barbados had important significance for the Association. Even as delegates trooped into Bridgetown in November, many were scarcely aware that they were making a pilgrimage to a country where the idea of a Commonwealth-wide tax organization was conceived. It was 39 years ago in 1977 during a meeting of the Commonwealth Ministers of Finance in Barbados when a decision for such an organization was reached. One year later, on the 23rd May 1978, the CATA Constitution was formally adopted, with Barbados being one of the 23 founder member countries.

With a modest total population of under 300,000

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2016 Technical Conference opens

The opening ceremony of this year's CATA Technical Conference in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 7 November.  Pictured are the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs of Barbados, the Hon. Christopher Sinckler M.P, who formally opened the Conference (centre of front row), the Heads of Delegations to the Conference and the President, Chairman and Executive Director of CATA. More than 140 delegates are attending the Conference, which will close on 11 November.



Maldives withdraws from the Commonwealth: Secretary General expresses deep regret

The Government of the Maldives has withdrawn that country from membership of the Commonwealth with effect from 13 October 2016. As a consequence, Maldive's membership of CATA has also ceased from that date.

Statement by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth


Regional workshop very well received










Tax administration officials from the Caribbean region came together October 3-6, 2016 in Georgetown Guyana for the regional workshop – A Practical Approach to Risk Assessment in the Caribbean Region.

The workshop was hosted by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and jointly sponsored by the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA), the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank Group (WBG), with technical and organizational support from the Canada Revenue Agency and the financial support of the WBG’s SEMCAR Program and the Government of Canada.

Workshop participants included 23 officials from

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Tax features at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Annual Meeting

Executive Director (3rd from right-back row) poses for a group photo with the Ministers)

(Picture courtesy of the Commonwealth website)




The Commonwealth Finance Ministers once again added their voices to the importance of exchange of tax information among member countries as a way of protecting their tax bases and ensuring that effective mobilization of domestic revenue remains firmly on the international agenda.

The representative of the United Kingdom took the participants through the on-going project on “beneficial ownership” which his country is spearheading and pointed out that this initiative will contribute immensely in tackling not only tax crimes but also assist law enforcement agencies in addressing issues around illicit financial flows, money laundering and financing of terrorism. He urged member countries to join this noble venture that will see countries exchanging vital information on the true identities of persons behind business entities.

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