GCNet presented unreadable data to us – GRA

From right: Acting Commissioner General of the GRA, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah and Commissioner of Customs, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah RTD

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has admitted receiving port operations data from the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) but says it is not in the requisite format hampering their ability to make meaning out of it to support the operation of the newly introduced Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS).

“I want to emphasis that we continue to engage GCNet as far as the format of data is concerned. We did not only evaluate the format with our own staff, we did engage other third-party professions in the IT industry to also analyze and give us a third-party eye into the data, we have not been successful.

We are exploring various options as well as engaging GCNet in trying to resolve the issue as in getting the format of the data in a way that we want it. Going forward we would need the data for transaction, we would need it for historical data analysis. We continue to engage GCNet to ensure that the issue is resolved,” acting Commissioner General of the GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah told a news conference.

Speaking at the same event, the Commissioner of Custom, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah RTD said: “They handed the first set of data to me, experts tried but they could not make head or tail out of it. I went again to them and our experts asked that if they could give us a dictionary or a schemer that would help us to interpret the data.

That was given to us and we gave it to our experts who managed to use it to interpret some of the data from about 2000 to 2012 but from 2013 to date that is where we have the challenge. In some cases, certain spaces were blank and in other cases we have duplication, others have also been mixed up in a manner that would not suit our purpose.

We want the data in a certain manner to suit our purpose; we would want some of their experts make themselves available because we have tried international experts and others outside GRA and we have not been able to make a head way. It was pointed out to some of them and they accepted. So further engagement with their active participation is the only way we can get the key to this.”

Meanwhile GCNet has, in press statement, said the management of the company has handed over all data from year 2002 to May 31, 2020 to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the requisite format. The management said the data was transformable, manageable, acceptable and transportable to any relational database management system for consumption and use in accordance with international acceptable standards, i.e. the Comma Separated Values (CSV) format.

The statement signed by Aba Lokko, Corporate Communications Manager-GCNet, said there is a trail of irrefutable evidence of confirmed receipt by GRA of all such data from GCNet/GCMS to this effect. It said as part of the data submission to GRA, GCNet provided on two separate occasions the Column Names and Data Types; and therefore, it is totally false to suggest that GCNet did not hand over data to the GRA.

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