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Taking an electronic claims system from pilot to countrywide implementation in Ghana

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  • Taking an electronic claims system from pilot to countrywide implementation in Ghana
  • Ubindam, Jacob M.
  • Global Delivery Initiative; KDI School


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Title Taking an electronic claims system from pilot to countrywide implementation in Ghana
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Ubindam, Jacob M.

Publisher

Global Delivery Initiative; KDI School

Date 2019-06
Series Title; No Global Delivery Initiative
Subject Country Ghana(Africa)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < IT
Holding Global Delivery Initiative
License

Abstract

In 2012, the Zambian Revenue Authority (ZRA) put together a project team to guide the development and delivery of a new electronic tax administration system, called TaxOnline, to replace an inefficient, fragmented system that had tax registrations, returns, and payments modules for only three tax types while the rest were manually administered, using paper forms. The revenue authority had contracted with Tata Consultancy Services, a private vendor, to develop a software system, which adapted an e-tax model built for Uganda to the Zambian system. The project team was responsible for creating blueprints to guide the developers’ work, testing the system, training internal staff and educating taxpayers, and encouraging people to embrace the new system. The team worked with internal stakeholders and the private vendor to develop various modules within the system and ensure that each delivered the desired outputs. The ZRA developed a strategy for dealing with the difficult problem of migrating data from the old systems to the new database, choosing not to migrate certain information. The team conducted training, sensitization, and education campaigns to prepare revenue authority staff and taxpayers for the new system. The team worked against a tight deadline to deliver the first phase of the project in October 2013, but many taxpayers did not understand the system and had trouble using it, leading to an influx of visits and calls. The ZRA took measures to manage taxpayer issues while the team continued to develop additional modules and interfaces with other government agencies. Further modules went live in May 2014, but the ZRA had to negotiate for several years to get all the country’s commercial banks to interface with TaxOnline so that their clients could make payments electronically. Several years into implementation, the vast majority of tax returns and registrations were filed through TaxOnline and the revenue authority was able to operate more efficiently, get tax money to the central government more quickly, and increase taxpayer compliance, among other benefits.