GRA Denies Paying ‘Huge’ Sums To Infosolutions

George-BlanksonThe Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has denied paying huge sums of money to Subah Infosolutions Limited to provide telecommunication traffic monitoring for the Authority.

The authority was reported to have allegedly paid more than GH¢144 million to the said company for no work done, but the Commissioner General of GRA, Mr. George Blankson,  denied the claim, saying, due diligence was made before making the payment.

At a news conference in Accra yesterday, flanked by other Commissioners of GRA, Mr. Blankson, said the authority was very meticulous  about how it carries out  its operations, especially payment for executed works.
He said GRA would not under any circumstances make payment without verifying work done and also without the approval of Ministry of Finance.

According to him, the contract to employ the services of Suban Indosolutions Limited was initiated in 2010 by the Revenue Agencies Governing Board, which the authority succeeded to undertake the project of traffic monitoring, among others for a period of  five years that is to 2015, noting that it has consistently monitored operations of  Subah before it made payment.

Mr. Blankson said that looking at the credibility of the GRA it ensured that it thoroughly checked the works of the contractual company before making payment.

In total, he said, GHC 80 million was paid to the company and not GH¢144 million as quoted in the media and appealed to the media, to cross-check their facts with the authority anytime it is baffled with such issues.

He stated that the company was solely sourced because of its track record of executing good works and that with its advent, the authority achieved 40 per cent increase in revenue.

Mr. Blankson said per the agreement, Subah was made aware that it would be paid per its performance, that is the higher revenue it accrued, the higher it would be paid and vice versa, saying the GH¢80 million was based on the performance of the company.

The Commissioner General stated that the standard for selecting the company met the requirement or standard of the Public Procurement Authority Act, besides, its operations were being monitored by the Ministry of Finance and the National Communications Authority (NCA).

‘The processes and procedure followed in the run-up to the signing of the agreement with Subah fully complied with the requirements of the Procurement Act’, he said.

Mr. Blankson said as part of the procurement process, the NCA carried out a technical evaluation and issued a report confirming that Subah had the technical expertise and equipment of communication service tests by the communication companies.

He said the task of carrying out revenue assurance on collection and accounting for the communication services tax by the telcos had two components.

Mr. Blankson said that, that is to to ascertain the veracity of total value of traffic declared by the telcos as basis for calculating the amount of the communication service tax payable.

The second task, he said, was to verify the correct application of tariffs to the individual calls, for instance whether a call should attract, eight pesewas per minute or zero pesewas per minute.   By Francis Asamoah Tuffour 

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