Management of the Ghana Community Network Services Limited, GCNet, has refuted claims by the operators of the newly Integrated Customs Management Systems, (ICUMS), also known as UNIPASS, that it has failed to provide historical transactional data to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), to aid its work.
According to GCNet, it has handed over all data from year 2002 to May 31, 2020 to the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA.
In a statement issued by the company, its Corporate Communications Manager, Mrs. Aba Lokko, said “GCNet has handed over all data from year 2002 to May 31, 2020 to the GRA in an appropriate format, which is transformable, manageable, acceptable and transportable to any relational database management system for consumption and use in accordance with international acceptable standards, i.e. Comma Separated Values (CSV) format.”
GCNet also stated that “there is a trail of irrefutable evidence of confirmed receipt by GRA of all such data from GCNet/GCMS to this effect as GCNet also provided on two separate occasions the Column Names and Data types as part of the data submission to GRA.”
Earlier this month, the Ghana Revenue Authority announced that it has resorted to the manual process for addressing transactions that commenced in the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) and Ghana Community Network system, GCMS/GCNET, because GCNET had not provided data for those transactions in the right format.
The GRA said this in response to claims by IMANI Africa that the country’s ports have resorted to the pre-2002 manual systems as shipping lines, freight forwarders and clearing agents, were now being requested to provide photocopies of documents previously used to clear goods.
The UNIPASS/ICUMS System
The UNIPASS/ICUMS platform is a new port clearing system that processes documents and payments through one window. It has replaced the systems operated by West Blue Consulting and the Ghana Community Service Network Limited (GCNet).
The system took full effect fully from Monday, June 1, 2020, but has faced several technical challenges until now.
Opposition to UNIPASS
Prior to its take-off, the Minority in Parliament kicked against the roll-out of the new system.
According to them, there is no need to do away with GCNet and Westblue at the ports, when they have demonstrated superior ability over the years.
Policy think-tank, IMANI Africa, earlier this year also petitioned government to temporarily suspend the operations of UNI-PASS and allow GCNET and West Blue to operate for the remainder of the year