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Ivan Simič, Director-General of the Financial Administration, Has Announced His Resignation: My Pride Is Worth More Than 12 Thousand Euros in Severance Pay!

“At the beginning of June 2022, we will get the new, 15th government of the Republic of Slovenia already. A new Minister of Finance will come with it, who will choose his own team. As I have already announced, I will resign then,” the Director-General of the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, Ivan Simič, MSc, emphasised in his letter. By leaving his post with the outgoing government, he will allow the new Minister of Finance to choose a new director, who will meet his criteria. “I believe that this is a perfectly normal move when the government changes,” he said. 

“We will also get a new Prime Minister, who announced before the elections already that he intends to replace all the staff appointed by the current government after the elections. I also consider this to be a normal move, and I do not understand the journalists, and thus the media they work for, who use every change made by a new government or those responsible in the government to create scandals.” According to Ivan Simič, it is completely normal for the new government to choose its own staff. “That is my belief. Perhaps I believe this because I am not a politician and because I take the position that every minister should be able to choose a team he wants to work with. That is the only way for him to be successful because he will be able to work with those he trusts.”

This was the third time that Simič held a high official position in the state administration, and therefore, he knows that there are many capable, motivated and hard-working officials in leading positions who only want the best for this country. He said that this is why he does not understand and also does not agree with the second part of the statement of the likely future Prime Minister, who said that the legacy of the outgoing government is incompetent people in leadership positions. “Unfortunately, this statement is not true, and I think that he will have quite a few problems trying to find competent people,” Simič believes.

Simič further pointed out that on the 17th of April this year, the magazine Mladina published the statement of the future Prime Minister, Robert Golob, which he gave on the 16th of April 2022 for the magazine Objektiv. The statement reads: “We will strive to clear up the legacy of the current government within six months of the election. This is the first condition for us to be able to reach the foundations on which we can build a better society. The legacy of this government is incompetent people in management positions, not only in the state administration but also in public institutions, agencies, and state-owned companies. Its legacy is also the disproportionate and illegal measures, punishment of those who think differently, subordination of social subsystems, and a whole range of legislative measures.”

In response to Golob’s statement, Simič said: “Given that I am also in a leading position in the state administration, as I hold the position of Director-General of the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, it is simple to understand that his statement was also directed to me.” He added that many people are trying to convince him that that is not what Golob meant, that he was talking about the general situation, and that there is no reason for Simič to be replaced. However, he understands this statement completely differently, and based on his experience in public administration, he knows what it means. “The fact is that you cannot be a successful director of the tax or financial administration if you do not enjoy the full trust of the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister. This position is too important to allow for your superiors to doubt your work,” Simič pointed out.

Simič said his pride is worth more than the severance pay
According to Simič, Robert Golob’s statement made it clear that the latter does not trust the current Director-General of the Financial Administration enough. Some people have told him to not resign and instead wait to be dismissed, as he could receive severance pay in the amount of four monthly salaries in that case, which would amount to around 12,000.00 euros. “My answer to that is that my pride is worth more than these 12 thousand euros, and that is why I intend to resign,” he made it clear.

Thus, he and his colleagues in the financial administration are working hard to finish up with everything they have been working on in the last year, as there are only a few days left until Simič’s resignation. “Quite a few things will also be completed after my departure, but the team I worked with last year is excellent and will bring all the projects to a successful end. I hope that the new government will dismiss me as soon as I offer my resignation to the future Minister of Finance,” he said, adding that he would like to thank his closest team and all other colleagues, without whom all of the progress they made would not have been possible, for the chance of working with them, as he prepares to take on new challenges. “I will return to my company,” he announced.

“In recent days, I have received a lot of calls, both oral and written, from taxpayers employed in the Financial Administration, as well as my acquaintances, asking me to continue my work, to stay in the Financial Administration, as the taxpayers want the kind of relationship that we have built now, to continue. Everyone keeps telling me about how they no longer have to wait for 30 or more days to receive the decisions of assessments but instead get them in a few days, and about how the employees of the Financial Administration are always available to talk – we are willing to help the taxpayers, and thus, everything is more or less as it should be,” Simič emphasised.

He then summed up the statements of some taxpayers employed in the Financial Administration, or his acquaintances, who are asking him to not give up his position of Director-General of the Financial Administration:

“Ivan, I can say that as far as the small economy is concerned, we have never had a better Director-General of the Financial Administration; this is what the entrepreneurs are saying to me every day.”

“If Golob’s team will replace Ivan Simič (Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia), Boštjan Napast (the Port of Koper) and Blaž Košorok (GEN energy company), they will have to work very hard to find better people for these positions. If they change them out just for the sake of it, without finding a good reason for it, as well as the people who are more suitable for these positions, we will be able to conclude that these changes are political or the result of personal preferences – which we in Slovenia have, unfortunately, already come to terms with. It is what it is.”

“Simič is very good as the Director-General of the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia. The business world understands and greatly appreciates the simplifications he has introduced so far. Individuals should also be able to appreciate the fact that they have not had to fill in income tax return forms but have instead been receiving them by post for the last 15 years.”

“Mr Ivan! Slovenia is now older than thirty! All these years, we have had various tax experts in your position. I do not know the name of a single one of them. However, I know yours; I remember it from before and will remember it after you leave. So, good luck to you, and I hope you will return someday!”

“It’s a shame you are retiring – although I understand you. In my opinion, you are one of the top people and most capable managers and financial experts in the Republic of Slovenia.”

“Professional. A highly professional and ethical Director. In short, a normal and sought-after person in an orderly country. But not in ours, unfortunately. All the best to you, Mr Ivan Simič.”

“The Director of the Financial Administration, Ivan Simič, MSc, has announced his resignation that will happen after the new Minister of Finance is appointed. I believe that the new government should fight with all its might to convince Mr Simič to remain the Director of the Administration for at least another five years. Otherwise, taxpayers will once again be the victims of unprofessional tax ‘experts.’”

“Oh no, come on. My wife, an accountant, is completely stunned. So far, everything has really worked as it should under your leadership. It is hard to imagine anyone else in this position.”

“I understand you. You are simply not compatible with the new government set. You have my deepest respect. There are very few people as honest as you. I wish you all the best.”

“Mr Ivan” You were the best Director of the Financial Administration so far! Your move is wise and logical. With your knowledge and expertise, you have lots of new challenges to tackle in the future. And after the early elections in autumn of 2022, you might even return, if you will want to.”

“Do not make things easier for them. Let them dismiss you and then see how the independent watchdogs will try to justify this replacement of an expert with a politically appointed person. Who has more references and experience than you?”

“I would never have thought that I would be happy to follow the Director of the Financial Administration. Well done. Some of us really appreciate your voice of reason.”

“Well, I do understand our Director-General – I understand that as an exceptional, internationally renowned expert, exceptional creator, a man who is always ahead of the times in which he lives, which, as I have pointed out for many years, puts him alongside the greatest thinkers in history, not only in our country, he finds it hard to be satisfied with the current results. When he achieves something, he already sees a number of new, upcoming challenges. It is really a pleasure to work and live with such a person, but at the same time, I have to admit, it is also difficult, because it is a constant self-reflection opportunity for all of us around him, we are constantly learning, self-examining and finding improvements. But this is the only way forward. So who from the outside is competent enough to judge the competencies of Ivan Simič?”

“Dear Director! Regardless of our history, I personally regret your decision to leave us. Quite a few of your solutions have moved us in the right direction, which is also appreciated by my colleagues, whom I personally appreciate for their professionalism and loyalty to the service. Just yesterday, I spoke with one of our senior inspectors, who said that the atmosphere here is different now and the situation regarding the relations has returned to normal. I don’t think that it should have taken that long for things to go back to normal, and I know you had to work hard to get things sorted out. I hope you change your mind and continue on the path of necessary change, which begins with the mindset and correct perception of the importance of taxpayers.”

“Disastrous. If you are not considered competent, then no one in this country is competent. This is so shameful.”

“You were great, calm and clear with your answers, and I know that everyone knows you are a professional that everyone would like to have working for them. Why would they be so evil as to frame you for something? Ivan, they wouldn’t! Come on, please talk to Golob before you make a decision. It is a shame that you have to deal with such things.”

“They can look for an expert like you with the brightest flashlight possible, but they will still not find one.”

“In life, you have to work hard to succeed, but working hard is not always enough. You also have to be lucky, as someone has to notice you and give you the chance to show what you know. Following the proposal of two former Ministers of Finance, Dr Andrej Bajuk and Andrej Šircelj, MSc, the government of Janez Janša gave me this opportunity – twice. If it had not done that, nobody would have known if I was actually capable of running the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia. It, therefore, makes sense for me to leave the post of Director-General of the Financial Administration when the new government takes office. The pride and respect of those who allowed me to take on this position mean more to me than the position itself. It is true that the employees of the Financial Administration also want me to stay, but as I have already told them, my decision is the only correct decision, and above all, it is fair to those who enabled me to perform this role. And besides, the employees of the Financial Administration are well trained and will complete the projects we started without any problems,” Simič concluded.

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