Prime News Ghana

Gov't appoints 3 new GRA commissioners

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) and Ms. Julie Essiam
Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) and Ms. Julie Essiam

Government has made three new appointments at the top management level of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The GRA commissioners are Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Acting Commissioner for Domestic Tax Revenue Division; Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), Acting Commissioner, Customs Division and Ms Julie Essiam, Acting Commissioner, Support Services Division.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Sunday said the three have been appointed in line with the new changes being made at the Authority aimed at mobilizing revenue.

In line with that, the new appointees are expected to drive a number of critical transformational changes including modernising and digitising tax processes and systems as well as increase the quality of tax payer services.

Below is the full statement

In line with ongoing reforms by Government at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to improve performance, consistent with the 2019 Budget (paragraph 288), there have been changes at the Top Management level of the institution. Also, about one thousand four hundred and eighteen (1,418) employees are being rotated to other areas of the organisation. Further changes will be made to retool GRA for the critical task of mobilizing revenue to finance improvements in the lives of our people.

The reorganisation has been necessitated by three (3) main factors:

First, the Institution has grown significantly over the years, and current revenues of approximately GH¢38 billion make it one of the biggest Institutions in Ghana. This has created the need for much stronger, world-class structures.

Secondly, the number of employees of the GRA has increased significantly to about 7,000 and another 5,000 have been added through NABCO to shore up the authority’s revenue mobilization capacity, bringing the total employees to 12,000. GRA is now one of the largest employers outside the Civil Service.

Thirdly, there has been increasing need for better domestic revenue mobilization in order to realise the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda. With Ghana’s Revenue to GDP of 12.6%, below the West Africa average of 19.9%, there is the need to raise domestic revenue in a more efficient way in order to meet the country’s commitments. GRA revenues have failed to reach budget targets, and over the last three years there has been an accumulated gap of about GH¢3.5 billion.

Given all of the above factors, it has become necessary to make changes to the Management and organisational structure to make it a much better performing institution.

These changes are expected to bring several improvements in the institution. This includes bringing the best of private sector practices and combining that with public sector technical expertise to ensure that GRA is a better functioning institution. Additionally, these changes are expected to improve the overall level of professionalism and engender a customer-friendly mindset at GRA.

In line with expectations, the new team will be expected to drive a number of critical transformational changes:

Modernising and digitising tax processes and systems;

Introducing big data and block chain technologies to improve compliance;

Expanding the tax base to encompass more effectively the informal sector and professional classes (currently there are over 6 million eligible tax paying individuals, however, only about 2.5 million have been registered and only about 1.2 million are active direct tax payers); and

Developing a stronger culture of performance and accountability;

Enhancing staff integrity and anticorruption measures;

Increasing the quality of tax payer services;

Respecting the client (taxpayer);

Creating a fair and firm tax organisation that ensures equitable treatment of every tax payer;

Tackling revenue leakages across both Domestic Tax and Customs;

Ensuring that best practices are shared, to create a truly world-class organisation.

To drive this transformation, changes have been made at various levels across the entire organisation involving about one thousand four hundred and eighteen (1,418) employees who are being rotated to other areas of the Institution. At the leadership level, the following new appointments have been made:

Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah Acting Commissioner for Domestic Tax Revenue Division
Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), Acting Commissioner, Customs Division
Julie Essiam, Acting Commissioner, Support Services Division
We take this opportunity to thank the current leadership team at GRA who have brought GRA thus far. We wish the Commissioner-General and his new team success as they take the reins to lead GRA to the next level.

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