BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss federal government is looking into questionable purchases by its tax arm, the Federal Finance Department said in a statement late Tuesday 19 June. The head of the IT department has been targeted, reports Le Matin.
Questions arose earlier this year about the purchase of flat screens delivered to the tax department, and other purchases that were part of a programme called Insieme, to overhaul the federal tax computer system.
The director of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration, Urs Ursprung, has been suspended as an investigation ordered by President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf into purchases by his department has led to a separate, criminal investigation. Bern notes that Ursprung is not suspected of crimes, but as head of the office he had overall responsibility for seeing that purchases over a certain amount were put out for tender and that signatures required for purchases over CHF50,000 were respected.
The IT head reportedly had “personal relations” with a number of heads of companies from whom he made purchases and he is an investor in one of the companies, although Bern does not specify if he is the person under investigation for possible illegal activities.