Legal Service. Activities. Consultancy. Legal Service

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1 Legal Service The Tax Agency Legal Service espouses the classic idea of what legal assistance should include (legal advice, and representation and defence in court proceedings), and that is exactly what it contributes towards the organisation s mission and objectives. The Legal Service operates under coordination from a higher authority, the State Attorney s Office/Directorate of the State Legal Service. Because of the complexity of tax procedures, their nature as mass procedures and the intensive use of new technologies, it is vital for the Agency to be able to count on an immediate, even pre-emptive response to legal problems, so the Legal Service has to be moulded gradually into a preventive service. Activities Consultancy The Legal Service receives many requests for reports, which can be classified agreementing to two basic criteria: by the category of activity requested (in which case we can distinguish between reports, official acceptance of credentials and advisory activities in preparation for larger events), or by the requesting authority. The following tables show the quantities of reports requested and issued during, divided by these categories. TABLE No 79 CONSULTATIVE AFFAIRS () INCOMING OUTGOING Reports 6,912 7,090 Credential acceptance 3,495 3,494 Preparatory activities Total 10,880 11,057 TABLE No 80 REPORT REQUESTS (by requesting authority) INCOMING OUTGOING Directorate-General 8 7 Technical Advisory and Support Office Bureau chiefs Collection Department 1,717 1,709 Auditing Department Customs Department Human Resources and Economic Administration Department Tax Data-Processing Department 9 7 Tax Management Department Organisation, Planning and Institutional Relations Department Internal Auditing Service 5 4 Bureaus/administrations 1,157 1,125 Miscellaneous 2,473 2,727 Total 6,912 7,

2 Litigation Litigation is classified by grouping lawsuits by the different courts to which effective cognisance is pre-assigned under the terms of the Order of 29 July 1994 on legal assistance for the State Tax Administration Agency. The figures for are these: TABLE No 81 TOTAL LITIGATION () CIVIL CRIMINAL ADMINISTRATIVE SOCIAL PRE-JUDICIAL AFFAIRS Opened Closed In progress 2, TOTAL 3, , Continuing with the practice it began in 1999, during the Central Unit of Legal Counsel reported a total of 6,101 court decisions (sentences and writs) to the different Agency bodies and departments involved. Lastly, as in previous years, 13 lawsuits were finalised in which the task of providing the criminal defence of Tax Agency civil servants fell exclusively to the Tax Agency Legal Service. A favourable verdict was returned in 100% of these cases. Organisation In addition to the classic functions outlined above, the Legal Service, in its determination to provide comprehensive assistance to all the different bodies in the Tax Agency, shoulders the responsibility of performing other activities that might be labelled organisational activities, foremost amongst which are these: 1) Legal Service Activity Programme. - Reorientation of the system for setting and measuring the Objectives Plan. - Consolidation of the coordination of litigation by the Tax Agency. This move continues down a path blazed in other fiscal years, with activities such as the implementation of the single system for reception and distribution of court decisions, and coordination in matters of tax offences. - Updating of legal criteria in matters involving the transfer of tax information to third parties. For this the Joint Commission made up of the State Judiciary Board and the Tax Agency has been reactivated, as the body in charge of tracking and implementing the agreement on the transfer of information to courts and tribunals. - Relaunching of the Boletín de Información y Coordinación (BIC), the Information and Coordination Journal. - Incorporation of a series of new commitments into the Tax Agency s Special Quality Programme, such as the introduction of a database to autoproduce reports and decisions for the Central and Regional Legal Services. - Preparation of Legal Assistance Handbooks. - Preparation of a Legal Service CD containing both institutional information and information on legal assistance. 116

3 2) Coordination in matters of offences against the Exchequer. The Director- General of the State Tax Administration Agency handed down Instruction 2/ of 7 February on the establishment of coordination measures in matters of offences against the Exchequer, smuggling and other types of crime, to accomplish two purposes: - So the Tax Agency will have exact, punctual knowledge of the procedural status of and any incidents in court cases for offences against the Exchequer or smuggling, to favour maximum efficacy in the procedural strategy used by the prosecution in such procedures (the Tax Agency can help by showing proof that the offence was committed and who committed it, and also by showing how to secure any criminal or civil liability found by the courts). - So that the collection policy and tax fraud prevention policy the Agency is in charge of is correctly defined and enforced. A plan for coordination in this area has therefore been definitively introduced. Its starting point is the Decision of 11 May 1999 by the Chairman of the Tax Agency, restructuring the Agency s Legal Service. This decision assigns the Legal Service the job of tracking all judicial processes the Agency is a party to, coordinating action by Agency bodies in relationship with their participation in such processes and reporting periodically to their management centres on the status of litigation and any relevant incidents. The Legal Service also has to track all the reports of offences that Agency bodies turn in to the police, the Civil Guard, the public prosecutor, courts, tribunals and other authorities; take what measures it sees fit, the better to defend the Agency s interests; propose defensive measures of this sort to the competent bodies; and report periodically to the Agency s governing bodies and management centres, to keep them abreast of current status and relevant incidents. 3) Overhaul of the Legal Service s Computer Applications in the Tax Agency s Corporate Information System. In the last quarter of the year an internal working group was put together to institute a thorough overhaul of the set of computer applications the Legal Service uses, so as to achieve, inter alia, the following: - Comprehensive management of the Legal Service s files. - Overlapping with the Tax Agency s information system so as to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in how the State tax and customs system is managed. - Interoperability with the State Attorney s Office. - Office management using less paper. - Optimum knowledge management. Objectives The system of objectives for includes a number of new items, with the idea of incorporating other activities for the Legal Service to do that are oriented more towards achieving quality management, which is what the Tax Agency wants to use as the basis for its activity. So, when considering its consultationrelated objectives and its litigation-related objectives, the Legal Service took into account not only the average time it took to issue traditional reports, but also what is called relative effort, which measures the relationship between human resources and workload. The tables below show the main results: 117

4 OBJECTIVES IN CONSULTATION GRAPH XIV AVERAGE TIME IT TAKES TO ISSUE REPORTS (calendar days) TOTAL REPORTS: 4,665 OBJECTIVES IN LITIGATION TABLE No 82 CIVIL ACTION CIVIL ANDALUSIA % ARAGON % CASTILLA Y LEON % CATALONIA % MADRID % MURCIA % VALENCIA % TOTAL % TABLE No 83 CRIMINAL ACTION (DEFENCE OF TAX AGENCY OFFICIALS) CRIMINAL CASTILLA Y LEON % CATALONIA % GALICIA % MADRID % VALENCIA % CENTRAL SERVICES % TOTAL % 118

5 TABLE No 84 SOCIAL AFFAIRS SOCIAL ANDALUSIA % BALEARIC ISLANDS % CATALONIA % MADRID % VALENCIA % TOTAL % ORGANISATIONAL OBJECTIVES TABLE No 85 RELATIVE EFFORT ATTORNEYS B-26 GROUPS B-24 GROUPS B ANDALUSIA ARAGON BALEARIC ISLANDS CANARY ISLANDS CASTILLA Y LEON CATALONIA GALICIA MADRID MURCIA VALENCIA TABLE No 86 RELATIVE EFFORT NUMBER OF PROCEEDINGS (1.1) NUMBER OF LAWSUITS No PROC+ RELATIVE No SUITS A EFFORT(1.1) A/B*2 ANDALUSIA ARAGON BALEARIC ISLANDS CANARY ISLANDS CASTILLA Y LEON CATALONIA GALICIA MADRID MURCIA VALENCIA

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