Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah – GRA Boss
THE GHANA Revenue Authority’s (GRA) method of awarding the contract for the Integrated Tax Application System (ITAS) has drawn criticism from the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC) of the Ministry of Finance.
The committee highlighted concerns about unfairness in the selection process during a series of discussions with the GRA, after the authority delivered its evaluation report on why it has selected an inexperienced company to manage its ITAS project.
According to sources within the GRA, the committee questioned GRA’s determination to give the ITAS contract to a firm that scored four out of 10 for the authority’s major and most important condition, which focused on experience and capacity to execute.
Due to the fact that this factor alone accounted for 80% of the evaluation criteria, the committee claimed that it raised a serious red flag about the favoured company’s ability to deliver.
The paper gathered that when compared to other bidders, the committee could not fathom why some firms had higher ratings and had proof that they could deliver and carry out the ITAS project, which would aid GRA in achieving its objectives for mobilising domestic revenue.
According to reports, the committee also stated that it was unable to verify the fairness of the GRA evaluation score, which led them to choose the inexperienced firm. This was because GRA was unable to give the necessary guidance document.
The committee indicated in its report to GRA that the summaries of the bidders’ strengths and shortcomings were not well recorded and described to support the choice of the preferred bidders.
It said different scores were used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the firms, which showed unfairness.
The committee stated that the criteria utilised for local content were biased and demonstrated prejudice to other bidders.
The DAILY GUIDE reported last Monday that a novice company would soon receive the ITAS contract.
According to sources within the GRA, the development is causing a state of unsettling calm at the domestic revenue mobilisation agency, and concerns have been expressed regarding the novice company’s capabilities, which has not yet been revealed.
As part of the GRA’s principal objective to increase revenue mobilisation, the ITAS initiative will assist the authority in identifying and closing all tax loopholes within the government and the public sector.
Per the ITAS project, the technology will aid in capturing a bigger tax bracket and make it very difficult for anyone or corporation to dodge the tax system by catching any organisation or people who may try to do so.
The five-year contract’s bid period began in January 2022 and ended on February 25 of that same year.
With the responsibility of ensuring compliance with Ghana’s procurement regulations, the Central Tender Review Committee was established by Section 20 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT, 663) as amended.
According to the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and its amendment, the committee’s mandate is to assess evaluation reports of procurement firms that fall under the threshold and comply with the Procurement Act, as well as give or deny concurrent approval to the procurement entity based on the procurement cycle of the respective procurement method. It is also to review decisions of heads of entities in respect of complaints, and participate in public procurement fora when invited.
A Business Desk Report