Business News Thu, 6 Sep 2007

Complete automation will eliminate fraud-CEPS Commissioner

Accra, Sept 7, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Nmashie Doku, Commissioner for the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), on Thursday said only a complete automation of services of CEPS would eliminate fraud. Testifying before the Justice Glenn Baddoo Committee in Accra, Mr Doku said the main area where leakages occurred in revenue collection was value added tax on imports of which there had been a shortage of 48 million Ghana cedis from January to August.

The committee was inaugurated in July to investigate operational irregularities of the service and offer recommendation on improving the service.

Mr Doku said the introduction of the computer tracking system, the Ghana Community Network (GCnet) had ensured greater transparency and integrity in the operations the Service.


He said the GCnet had other advantages as complete tracking of transactions and checking of misconduct of officers. CEPS is now working towards a total automation system, so that areas that operated manually would be computerized. Mr Doku admitted that the Tema State Warehouse was not yet on the GCNet and explained that at the time of the start of the automation process that building was marked to be pulled down. He said after 21 days when goods were not cleared they were entered into the uncleared cargo list (UCL) and the CEPS was able to generate revenue from the disposal of uncleared items.

Mr Doku suggested that the only way to clear many of the containers that congest the port was to go in for dedicated equipment. He said they were very expensive, would cost about 500,000 dollars and would cost a loss of jobs to a number of freight handling companies. The Commissioner said CEPS was planning to integrate the business processes of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Examination Authority (DVLA).

Mr Doku said CEPS had since the last two months began a monitoring system to check fraudulent registration of vehicles. He expressed regret that pilfering at the ports was criminal and although CEPS had prosecuted some of the cases brought to its notice, the courts had been lax in some cases because of negotiations by culprits and a lack of evidence by the prosecution. 07 Sept 07

Source: GNA