Communications Select Committee calls on GCNet

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Deputy General Manager of the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), Mr Emmanuel Darko, has outlined a number of suggestions for consideration by parliamentarians as part of efforts to step up revenue collection and address revenue shortfalls in the country.

His suggestions include intensifying the revenue collection automation process to cover more ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to track and expedite their transactions online.

Mr Darko said the advantages in this included post-event reviews, the elimination of clearance on permits, continuous update of consignment valuation and strict monitoring of the warehousing regime, especially after the passage of an act to limit the warehousing of goods to a maximum period of three months.

Mr Darko said this when members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications paid a working visit to the GCNet as part of its oversight responsibility for organisations that operated within the communications sector.

The visit also afforded both the old and new members of the committee, the opportunity to appraise and familiarise themselves with the operations of GCNet, one of the companies in the country that use information and communication  technology (ICT) to promote revenue mobilisation, trade development and facilitation.

Mr Darko further suggested the expedited rollout of the new automated system developed for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Domestic Tax Revenue Division to cover all key tax offices, especially those in major commercial towns.

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In a presentation, GCNet management officials told the parliamentarians how various information technology (IT) systems had been deployed to eliminate a number of manual processes and how that had resulted in seamless processes and electronic data exchange among a number of MDAs and stakeholders.

For their part, the parliamentarians noted that while some challenges still persisted in the area of revenue mobilisation, significant strides had been made with the GRA revenue mobilisation through the deployment of the system.

The GCNet system posted a 60 per cent year-on-year revenue growth in 2004, immediately after the deployment of the system, with yearly revenue growth averaging 40 per cent over the three years that followed and subsequently plateauing at approximately 20 per cent annually.