GHANA REVENUE AUTOMATION PROJECT (GRAP)
The Ministry of Communications is implementing the e-Ghana project with assistance from the World Bank. Provision of e-government services and private sector development are two key components of the e-Ghana project among other components. The PPP Automation of Revenue Generating Agencies is one of the projects being implemented under the e-Ghana Project. This PPP arrangement is a Design, Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (DFBOT) model and is intended to operate for a period of five (5) years.
Presently, Government organizations are struggling to deliver improved services to the public. This need is even more pressing at tax and revenue agencies, since they collect monies that fund other Government agencies. Currently in Ghana, customer complaints on service delivery in the revenue agencies such as queuing at the various revenue collection Districts and offices; manual receipting; high cost of compliance; slow processing of taxpayers’ documents and requests among others have constrained effective tax administration. This has translated into low voluntary compliance on the part of both existing and potential customers.
With the inception of the e-Ghana Project initiative each government agency is tasked with improving their interaction with citizens and businesses in the country. The PPP model is designed to supply these capabilities as well as to provide the necessary improvements to each agency’s computerized systems and business processes. Through incorporating e-Ghana principles, e-Government services and e-GIF standards, this PPP will significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration as well as reduce the time and cost of registering a business. Additionally, it will result in a better designed and operated system which will enhance revenue mobilization and will give added value and convenience to the citizens of Ghana.
The main objectives of this project are to automate the operations of the Ghana Revenue Authority (IRS, VATs, RAGB, LTU) and Registrar General’s Department through a PPP arrangement, to provide e-government services to citizens and businesses in an efficient and cost effective manner in partnership with the private sector to increase government revenues and facilitate the development of private sector capabilities in the ICT sector.
The automation will cause the operations of beneficiary agencies to be integrated in order to enhance the mobilization of national tax revenues. It will also reduce constraints people go through when registering their businesses, filing returns and paying taxes.
The system solution will include a bundle or integrated application solution for the agencies mentioned above. The bundling of the GRA and RGD application solution was decided because of the synergistic relationship of each of their mission since they both have a strong connection with the businesses within the country. This was determined through a feasibility study conducted in the year 2006 by Telecom Telematique Inc. (TTI) in collaboration with GICTeD, now NITA and the revenue generating agencies. Following the development of the feasibility study document, tender documents were developed for the selection of the private partner for the implementation of the project.
GCNet Ghana Ltd has broad responsibilities as the System supplier to design, partially finance, build, operate and transfer the system to the GRA and RGD. The first 18 months of the project implementation period falls under the operational acceptance period where the solution will be deployed to 11 GRA /RGD sites. The solution will be deployed to remaining GRA and RGD offices within two (2) and halve years.
As part of the contract conditions and terms, GCNET will provide the up-front financing after taking into account the advance payment provided by the Government for the design, installation and initial period of operation of the system. The total cost of the project is $60M. GCNET is expected to provide $40M towards the financing of the project. These financing costs plus an equitable return on investment and interest charges will be recovered and paid to GCNET in part from funds available from the World Bank Credit to Ghana($20M) and the remainder (which is the $40M) from a Special Repayment Escrow Account(SREA) comprised of incremental revenues collected by GOG through the new and improved System. 85% of the enhanced revenues during Operations Phase will be contributed to the Special Repayment Escrow Account and allocated to payment of approved Invoices for deliverables submitted by GCNET. The amount to be paid will be calculated, agreed and certified by the Project Steering Committee who will also be responsible for ensuring that payment is made to GCNET.
Scope of Services under the GRAAP Project
The scope of services for the project includes the following:
- Re-engineering of business process of GRA (IRS, VATs, RAGB, LTU) and RGD
- Supplier of integrated tax administration software, software for operations of RGD and shard services for GRA and RGD.
The integrated tax administration software will include modules such as registration, returns processing, enforcement, audits, risk analysis and management etc.
The software for RGD operations will include modules such as business registration, property registration, marriage registration and administration of estates.
The shared services software will include modules such as Appointment and scheduling, portal, geographical information system, business intelligence, email, SMS, chat , web statistics and portal reporting, online tax filing etc.