DRT plans decentralization of operations, more online services

Department of Revenue and Taxation (PNC file photo)

As part of its modernization, the Department of Revenue and Taxation is planning to decentralize operations away from its main office in Barrigada as well as offer more of its services online.

Addressing the Guam Chamber membership meeting Wednesday morning, DRT director Dafne Shimizu said that during this public health emergency, it was “challenging” to operate in their main office building in Barrigada, referring to the many infrastructure problems of the building that necessitated frequent repairs and disruption of operations.

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“Our deputy director actually has been tasked with and is currently working on just identifying how we might be able to continue to work in this building, and then also looking at different options for how we might be able to become more efficient in our operations, whether we continue to have all of our agents or agency branches together, or if we decide to decentralize … so those are things that are currently in the works and being discussed right now,” Shimizu said.

As part of DRT’s modernizations plans, Shimizu also said DRT plans to offer more services online.

She said DRT has been working on trying to modernize and upgrade its systems and provide as many services online as possible.

At present, DRT already allows for certain renewals or replacements of driver’s licenses and Guam IDs to be done online via Dropbox. In addition, individuals have been allowed to convert driving permits to intermediate licenses and intermediate to full licenses online via Dropbox as well.

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In addition, vehicle registration renewals have long been available online and Shimizu said they have had great success with this.

From fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2020, Shimizu said DRT saw online vehicle registrations grow from just a little over 4000 to over 26,000.

“And we can see that there is definitely an increased trend in people utilizing online services,” Shimizu said.

She added that many tax refunds are now also being released via digital transfer — the first time that DRT has ever done that.

For this year, Shimizu said some things to look forward to are enhancements to the business licensing process and the opportunity for people to apply for business licenses online.

“We are also looking at putting our driver’s licenses and our Guam ID renewals fully online. So that’s something that we’re going to be seeing this year. Our programmers are actually working on that now. I’ve also been working with the Office of Technology to make sure that this happens and gets turned around as quickly as possible,” Shimizu said.