There is an uneasy calm brewing between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Central Tender Review Committee of the Ministry of Finance (CTRC) over the former’s decision to appoint a company believed by experts to lack the requisite experience and capacity to oversee the implementation of an Integrated Tax Application System (ITAS) project.
Whereas the GRA is set to appoint and announce IPMC partnering TATA consulting services as the preferred company to oversee ITAS implementation, CTRC, a body mandated by the Government to advice on the award of contracts has raised queries and objected to that decision.
CTRC is said to have raised red flags on the grounds that TATA did not outperform the other 11 shortlisted bidders coupled with its lack of experience and capacity to deliver.
This newspaper has gathered that a series of discussion has ensued between the two entries and concerns raised by CTRC after the GRA submitted its evaluation report on why it selected IPMC partnering TATA Consulting Services to roll out ITAS.
CTRC, according to sources privy to ITAS contract, has advised GRA and made certain key recommendations it expects the Authority to put in place to ensure that the right, qualified and capable company is selected and awarded the ITAS contract.
What ITAS will do for GRA
The ITAS project is part of the effort being put in place by the GRA to help the Authority achieve its goals on revenue generation.
ITAS is intended to help the GRA identify and block all the tax loopholes within the government and the public administration as part of the GRA’s primary goal to increase revenue generation.
Per ITAS project, the system will help to capture a wider tax bracket and make it extremely impossible for anybody or company to escape the tax system, by fishing out any organisation or individuals that may attempt to evade taxes.
A total of 12 shortlisted companies were shortlisted but CTRC after reviewing the evaluation report submitted to the Committee by GRA raised concerns about unfairness in the selection process.
The CTRC evaluation report it submitted to GRA stated that the Bidders were not given an equal playing field to compete for the ITAS contract.
According to sources, the Committee also 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.
Considering the fact that the company could not meet GRA’s 80% threshold of scope of service in the evaluation report, the Committee claimed that GRA evaluation raised a serious red flag about the favoured company’s ability to deliver.
So far, the concerns raised have delayed the announcement of the selected bidder, which was expected to be within 150 days after the evaluation process last year.
Bidding for the five-year contract was opened in January 2022 and closed on February 25, 2022.
In June last year, the 12 shortlisted companies were assessed based on GRA’s evaluation which included experience in deployment, technical solutions, and local content among others
What Is CTRC?
The Central Tender Review Committee (CTRA) was established by Section 20 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT, 663) as amended with the mandate of ensuring compliance with the provisions of the procurement laws of Ghana.
The mandate of CTRC as specified in the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and its amendment, are to review evaluation reports of procurement entities within the threshold in accordance with the procurement Act and to give or deny concurrent approval to the procurement entity based on the procurement cycle of the respective procurement method.
CTRA is also to ensure that all procurement activities demonstrate availability and adequacy of funding; and consistency with the national development plans, programmes, policies, and key objectives of the various procurement entities.
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