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HomeNewsGRA boss was fired in favour of an Indian company

GRA boss was fired in favour of an Indian company

The government, led by the Ministry of Finance and some persons with vested interest, are in a suspicious and indecent haste to get Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to hand over all of Ghana’s domestic tax mobilization and management to an Indian company called TATA Consultancy Services (TCS), represented by another Indian-owned IT company in Ghana, IPMC by 2025.

The fact that government is setting this deal up now for an Indian company to take over domestic tax mobilization in 2025, when this particular government would have gone out of office, no matter which party wins the 2024 election, raises questions about the genuineness of the deal.

Rev. Dr. Amishaddai, who the government kept in office two years after his retirement age, just to use him as a puppet to execute their grand plan, is said to have raised objections about the whole deal. That is suspected to be the reason-in-chief for replacing him with another retiree, 61-year-old Julie Essiam, who is said to be a favourite of former Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and is likely to help them exact that grand plan before they leave office.

Former Board Chairman of GRA, Prof. Emeritus  Stephen Adei even alluded to the scheme to hand over domestic tax mobilization to an Indian company in his response to recent baseless corruption allegations against him, when he wrote the following:

Even the Board of GRA also made it clear that Axon’s GITMIS with the Taxpayers’ Portal is a much more superior software, because the Taxpayers’ Portal component of GITMIS allows taxpayers  to do at anything tax anytime and anywhere in the world.

The GRA officials say they had, in a number of meetings, raised concerns to the then Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta that replacing GITMIS with TATA’s iTAX will create a lot of problems for domestic tax mobilization and administration. But the former Minister was said to be bent on replacing GITMIS with the ‘problematic’ and expensive iTAX from TATA at all cost. In fact they suggested that the former Minister seem not to care about the consequences of his insistence.

Indecent rush and machinations

In spite of the obvious challenges with cost and management of the system pointed out by GRA staff, and a number of times by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), the recently sacked Commissioner-General was made to rush the contract through the process on the blind side of other stakeholders, and it was presented to the PPA again for approval, while two other shortlisted candidates – Axon Information Systems, and Atos and Persol Systems Limited, who also qualified for the financial evaluation level of the procurement process, were left to believe that GRA had called off the whole project due to lack of funds.

It was after all these machinations that Dr. Amishaddai Owusu-Amoah, noticing that the matter was being investigated by the press, felt the need to put the brakes on the rush to hand over Ghana’s destiny into the hands of an Indian company with a problematic tax management system. And that was when the people behind the whole scheme thought it was time for him to go.

have been out of power and another government would have taken over, in spite of which party wins the 2024 elections.

On September 28, 2023, the Board Chairman of GRA, Mr. Oteng Gyasi, who is also the CEO of Tropical Cables, and had earlier deferred to the former Commissioner-General, forwarded the IPMC & TATA documents to the head of DTRD and technical team of GRA for “thorough review”.

Source says the former GRA boss had long given his expert advice to the government about the deal, and it was not what they wanted to hear.

Now the appointment of Julie Essiam in the place of Dr. Owusu-Amoah is suspected to be one final move by government to get GRA to push that deal through, so that an Indian company with a problematic tax management system will take over domestic tax mobilization from a Ghanaian company lauded for their patriotism and for doing an excellent job so far.

Looming judgment debt

If this questionable deal goes through, a capable Ghanaian company with an efficient solution would have been denied in favour of a relatively less capable Indian company with a problematic solution. A subsequent cancellation of the Indian company’s deal by a new government would most likely leave Ghana with a judgment debt to be paid to the Indian company. All that will be behind the current government, whose former finance minister and other officials are the ones working this whole scheme from behind the scenes to get GRA to give IPMC & TATA the contract, in spite of the several flaws with their bid and problems with their solution.

This is obviously one of the classical ways by which people in government and their cronies in the private sector use public procurement as a channel to line their pockets for no work done, something Mr. Oteng Gyasi alluded to in a recent famous public lecture.

Effort has been done to reached out to both IPMC and Axon for comments but to no avail.

Source: Techfocus24