Parliamentary Select Committee On Communications Call On GCNet

Members of the newly constituted Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications have paid a working visit to the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), as part of its oversight of organisations that operate within the Communications sector. The visit was to afford both the old and new members of the Committee, the opportunity to appraise and familiarize themselves with GCNet operations, which is one of the foremost companies in the country that uses ICT to promote Revenue Mobilization and Trade development and facilitation. Management of GCNet made a presentation to the Parliamentarians on how various IT systems have been deployed to eliminate a number of manual processes and how this has resulted in seamless processes and electronic data exchange among a number of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and Stakeholders. In the area of revenue mobilization, the Parliamentarians noted that whilst some challenges still persist, significant strides have been made with Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) revenue mobilization through the deployment of the system. It was noted in this regard that there was a 60% year on year revenue growth in 2004 immediately after the deployment of the system, with yearly revenue growth averaging 40% over the next three years and subsequently plateauing at approximately 20% per annum. In response to questions about addressing revenue challenges that were currently being experienced Mr. Emmanuel Darko, Deputy General Manager, GCNet outlined a number of suggestions for the consideration of the Parliamentarians. These included the intensification of the automation process to cover more MDAs so that their transactions can be expedited and tracked for online or post event reviews, the elimination of clearance on permit, continuous update of consignment valuation and a strict monitoring of the warehousing regime, especially after the passage of the bill to limit the warehousing of goods to a maximum period of 3 months. There was a further suggestion for the expedited roll out of the new automated system developed for the GRA Domestic Tax Revenue Division, to cover all key tax offices, especially those in the major commercial towns.