As part of its roll out plan and that the installation of the common platform has reached an advanced stage with the installation of the platform at GLO and the others lined up for the coming days, a select number of key staff from both the National Communication Authority & Ghana Revenue Authority are on an high-level workshop on the” Common Platform” project. This is a highly significant milestone and a pre-cursor to the installation of the applications, which would meet the specific requirements of the users for reporting purposes. The specific provisions of the relevant laws and regulations under the mandate of both NCA and GRA in terms of taxes, levies and surcharges are discussed to ensure that the configuration of the applications will provide for well-designed reports to be extracted from the Platform.
The JOINT AGREEMENT between KelniGVG (as the technical contractor) the Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Finance is anchored on providing sufficient training to the users of the Platform estimated. Overall, the training program will provide several training sessions on the administration of the platform, preparation of relevant reports, maintenance and technical support of the common platform to the users designated by the NCA and GRA. This will be an on-going activity throughout the life of the project to enhance transparency and ultimately boost tax revenues on the 3 key revenue generation sectors where the reporting will be automated, digitized and computed real time on premises of the National Communication Authority (NCA) and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA):
1. International Inbound Levy of .06 USD
2. Communication Service Tax (CST) of 6 percent
3. Mobile Money REAL TIME monitoring and computing of Transactions allowing for full transparency and digitized reporting on premises at the NCA.
This first training is to give an overview of the system architecture, the different applications to measure quality of services, providing the uptime of the operators’ links, the detailed anti-fraud management module targeting both simboxing and ensure completeness of called data records declared by the operators, and the Revenue Assurance to assist in determination of the communications service taxes and Value Added Taxes. The System Architecture is composed of a highly secured data consolidation module to process the captured data from the Operators’s system. All the captured data shall be stored on the data consolidation module hosted at the NCA premises.
The main applications are to perform the following functions:
1. Live monitoring of the volumes of calls and revenues accruing to the Government of Ghana in accordance with law. It is also provides historical perspectives to analyse the trends over a period of time.
2. To monitor and measure the availability of services on the interconnect links between operators and their international carriers. This could form the basis for measuring the grade of services provided by the operators viz the frequency of downtimes and durations of such failures. It helps in the maintenance and ensuring operational efficiency and reliability to ensure high level of accuracy on the data collected and processed.
3. The Anti-fraud module for the Common Platform is a combination of advanced technology and sound management practices to make use of all the available information to help the government and operators to detect fraud on not only the international traffic but also the domestic revenue reporting and leakages. The training has emphasised on the need for a strong anti-fraud committee and enforcement unit to minimise any losses of revenues.
4. The Revenue Assurance Module is the heart of the common platform which primarily focuses on the requirements of Ghana Revenue Authority. During the training, it was clear that with the objectives of both the Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Finance, desires to ensure no revenues belonging to the Government is left behind, the answers are for the full implementation of the Revenue Assurance Module. It will give unprecedented visibility of all surcharges, CST and VAT to GRA to reconcile with the declarations made by the operators.
5. The most fascinating part of the training was the exposure to the global trends in monitoring (not taxing) of money mobile operations in Africa. KelniGVG shared with the participants their experiences in Rwanda and Tanzania where the economic performances of the mobile money sector and needs to ensure the regulatory compliances such as KYC, transactions thresholds, suspicious transactions to avert money laundering activities. It gives NCA to administer customer complaints and reports on the performances of the Mobile money platforms.
In conclusion, as this training is part of a series of activities to execute the knowledge transfer for a smooth hand over of the Common Platform to the clients. It will be prudent to say emphatically that parties to the contract are on to a good start in ensuring that the decision made by the stakeholders regarding this project is excellent one.