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Calheta ,  October 10, 2017

Regional Government fulfils commitment to reopen Finance Department in Calheta, São Jorge Island

The Finance Department of Calheta, São Jorge Island, reopened today following a cooperation protocol between the Regional and National Governments that fulfils the commitment taken by the Government of the Azores. It provides the Region with the necessary human resources to ensure its full and daily operation.
"This cooperation protocol returns to the population and companies in the municipality of Calheta a service of proximity of the utmost importance that falls under the State's responsibility," said Sérgio Ávila at the signing ceremony of the protocol, which was presided over by the President of the Government, Vasco Cordeiro.
Sérgio Ávila pointed out the "population had been demanding for this service, after being abruptly closed in 2012."
"Although there were those who would guarantee it full reopening, the truth is that we have only managed to work and cooperate with the current National Government in order to find a solution that ensure the full operation of a Finance Department in Calheta," stressed the government official.
"The protocol now signed also symbolises the concrete and objective advantages of cooperation between the Region's self-government bodies and those of the National Government, namely with the Ministry of Finance, through the Tax and Customs Authority."
"It also reflects the new phase of institutional relations that we started in 2016, with the reinforcement of cooperation and solidarity between the National Government and the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores," said the government official.
However, "we must clarify that this cooperation between the Regional and National Governments does not mean that the Region has to replace the powers and functions that constitutionally fall under the State's responsibility."
"Bearing in mind this principle and our demands to what are entitled to regarding the State's responsibilities, the Government of the Azores "has always been and will be available to collaborate and establish partnerships to find the best solutions for the population of each island," said the Vice-President.
Sérgio Ávila also mentioned that the "Regional Government's willingness to find a good solution to this situation is another relevant factor that may contribute to the daily construction of territorial and social cohesion in the Region."
In this context, he recalled that this cohesion "shows one of the most significant practical expressions of it with the provision of public services to the Azoreans from all islands and all municipalities. This is even more evident today, compared to the fact when, in recent years, the previous National Government neglected its responsibilities in the Region."
"In the Azores, on the contrary, we have built, reinforced and expanded a service of proximity to the Azorean population, through the Citizen Support Integrated Network, known by RIAC, which will provide two technicians to this Finance Department," stressed the government official.
In his speech, Sérgio Ávila revealed that each of the 54 RIAC offices provide more than 300 services to citizens, with special emphasis on services related to the Regional Administration, Local Administration or Central Administration.
Last year alone, this network provided services to more than 660 thousand people. As an example of complementary services of proximity to citizens, the government official mentioned that "almost 17 thousand Euros used RIAC services for assistance in filling personal income tax forms, submitting declarations or requesting information."
"If, in addition to this example, we also take into consideration services such as document requests, electronic invoices (e-fatura) and other services, the RIAC network has registered almost 28,000 contacts related regarding Finance services," the Vice-President said, stressing the importance of this service for citizens.
It contributes "to the fulfilment of fiscal obligations and rights and supports, in particular, elderly citizens, who are entitled to the necessary and competent assistance in filling in their tax declarations correctly."
Through the cooperation protocol signed today, the Region provides four Regional Public Administration workers to the Tax Authority to carry out duties at Calheta and Velas Finance Department.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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