Professor Accountant Edison Gnazzo Lima (1929-2010)

With sentiments of deep appreciation and regret, we remind the tenth anniversary of the death of our beloved former CIAT Executive Secretary, Professor accountant D. Edison Gnazzo Lima, occurred in Panama City on October 15, 2010.

Professor Edison Gnazzo, Uruguayan by birth and Panamanian by heart, was born in the city of Arrocha, very close to Montevideo that he always remembered with special affection. Professor Gnazzo in Uruguay, has been director of the Income Tax Office from 1961 to 1967 and adviser to the Minister of Finance, and Professor of Public Finance at the Institute of economics of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and administration of the University of the Uruguay Republic.

Professor Gnazzo joined CIAT as technical Director the year following its foundation, in 1967, first in offices in Washington DC and from 1968 in Panama, the official headquarters of the CIAT Executive Secretariat. The challenge and enormous effort to start and consolidate the CIAT operation fell to the Executive Secretary D. J. Mr. Menalco Solis, former director of Taxation at the DGI of Panama, and Mr. Edison Gnazzo.

Professor Gnazzo, as Technical Director of CIAT (1967-1981) designed and laid the technical pillars that support the activities of CIAT. He designed, organized and was rapporteur of the CIAT Assemblies and Technical Conferences; he designed and published bi-monthly the CIAT Bulletin (Spanish, English, French and Portuguese) with information on the CIAT activities  and news from the member countries; created and organized in the tax technical library, now Jorge Eduardo Corradine Library; he published the reports of all the assemblies and technical conferences; organized working groups with TA officials of the member countries to develop reference documents and Tax Administration manuals , on tax Collection, Auditing , double taxation Agreements and others; he coordinated the CIAT Network of Correspondents and in the framework of the convention with the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) of Amsterdam, coordinated the publication on compact disks of the legal texts of income taxes and sales taxes of the american countries, the tax treaties to avoid double taxation of income and/or heritage, as well as the description of the tax systems and income statistics of the central government of CIAT members countries.

As Executive Secretary of CIAT(1982 -1992), he consolidated the organizational structure of CIAT with the Directorates of Information and Consultation, Tax Studies, Technical co-operation and Internal Administration; he coordinated the working group that designed the First CIAT Strategic Plan (1983-87) which has since been updated every three years; Implemented the cooperation agreements with Spain, France, and extended the cooperation with Germany; in the framework of the cooperation with Spain, he created the contest of monographies and the publication of the CIAT Tax Review. He launched the technical cooperation programme with the support of the missions of France, Germany and Spain; he gave continuity to the publications, the reports of assemblies, technical conferences, and working groups on various topics of interest to the member countries; strengthened relationships with the IDB, IMF and the United Nations; actively participated in the Council of Executive Secretaries of Tax Organizations Tax (CESTO) and the Asia-Pacific Tax Research Investment and Research Center (APTIRC) and last but not least, consolidated the headquarters of the CIAT Executive Secretariat in Panama with the construction of the CIAT building in 1998.

In addition to his multiple activities at CIAT, Professor Edison Gnazzo found the time to share his knowledge of Public Finance and Taxation distinguished by his long career in the educational field as a Professor of Tax Law, Public Finance and Fiscal Policy at the Universities of Santa Maria La Antigua and Latin-American Foreign Trade – ULACEX of Panama, as a lecturer in the Master’s Program of Accounting Sciences of the Catholic University of Asuncion, Paraguay and as an instructor in courses and seminars on tax issues in public and private entities in countries of America, Europe and Asia.

His great knowledge on public finance and tax legislation have been reflected in his books; Fundamental Principles of Public Finance (1977), and Taxes and Public Expenditures of the Republic of Panama (2003), as well as articles and works that have been published in various newspapers, magazines and specialized publications in countries such as Argentina, Germany, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, united States of America, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama and Uruguay.

Professor Edison Gnazzo knew how to be a reference in the professional tax field that was characterized by his integrity, human dignity, vocation of service, commitment, and dedication to work. Upon his retirement from CIAT, he was awarded by the Government of Panama with the order Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Grand Cross Degree, the highest official award granted by this country.

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