Ghana’s e-government public-private partnership and the value of long-term strategies | ppps

In April 2010, the Government of Ghana signed a public-private partnership (PPP) contract to reengineer business registration processes, deploy state-of-the-art application software and hardware, and employ best-in-class solutions for the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Registrar General’s Office. This was part of a broader program to achieve greater efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness in the delivery of selected government services using information and communications technology (ICT).

 

The PPP was structured on a design, finance, build, operate, and transfer model. The government supported the project through resources from a World Bank-financed “eGhana Project,” contributing about one-third of the $60 million project costs; the private sector contributed the remainder. The agreement was for the private sector to build and manage the e-tax and electronic business registration platform until their investment costs were recovered—within five and not exceeding seven years from the effective date of the contract. At the end of the operations period, the system would be turned over to designated government organizations for continuing operation.

Ghana’s e-government public-private partnership and the value of long-term strategies | ppps.

Video conference brings virtual courts to Kenya

KENYA’S judiciary has launched the country’s first ever video conferencing solution for the hearing of cases in a partnership between Cisco, Safaricom, and the judiciary.

The first case was televised from Mombasa city where the Court of Appeal heard three cases via video conference where the bench sat in Nairobi while the respective lawyers were in Mombasa.

Launching the Judiciary ICT Policy and Strategic plan at the Nairobi High Court, Chief Justice Evan Gicheru said the adoption of technology would speed up the delivery of justice.

“Virtual courts have the potential to transform how the justice system deals with cases. They are vital in the drive to deliver swift justice, resolving cases faster and improving service given to victims, witnesses and defendants,” said Gicheru.

Video conferencing is among other ICT initiatives to be adopted by the courts in the next three years including digitalisation of court records and electronic recording of proceedings.

via Video conference brings virtual courts to Kenya.

iBorders Advance Passenger Processing used to control World Cup visitors

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs today celebrated the success of Advance Passenger Processing (APP), the border management solution from air transport IT specialist SITA, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The system, which was implemented in just nine months, successfully kept “undesirables” from entering the country during the tournament.

More than 1.5 million passengers were processed in June and July using SITA’s technology, 350 were subjected to extra examination while more than 60 people were stopped from entering because their names appeared on South Africa’s Visa and Entry Stop List or watch lists provided by Interpol and soccer’s governing body FIFA.

SITA’s solution, iBorders APP, effectively moves the country’s borders to the point of departure. It allows airlines and governments to transfer passport details in an interactive and real-time manner enabling instructions to be sent as passengers check-in, to prevent those who would be denied entry to the country from boarding the aircraft. As it eliminates fines associated with the transportation of inadmissible travellers, airlines flying to South Africa are expected to save millions of dollars in processing and repatriation fees.

via SITA helps secure South Africa’s borders | SITA.aero.

World Bank funds IFMIS for The Gambia and Liberia

The World Bank has approved loan funding of a $5million Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS) to increase the Government of The Gambia’s capacity in public resource management. There are five components to the project:

  • IFMIS rollout, interfaces and system training.
  • Laying the groundwork for the introduction of new IFMIS applications.
  • Communications and change management, creating greater awareness amongst government officials and the public at large about the IFMIS.
  • Accounting and information technology (IT) capacity building for sustainability.
  • Project implementation support.

A similar project is being prepared for Liberia. Funded by a $3,7m grant this project was approved a year ago, but has yet to publish any details.

Kampala launches new local tax system

Kampala City Council has introduced a new computerised tax system that will monitor and identify new tax opportunities in the city. The global tax information system will require all the five city Divisions to register their businesses at the district so as to determine the number of taxable businesses, identify new revenue opportunities and identify tax defaulters. The innovation, according to the KCC Principal Finance Officer, Mr Patrick Kazoora, will fetch at least Shs71 billion ($35m) from the local revenue base, indicating an increment of Shs40 billion ($20m). In the 2008/9 financial year, KCC failed to hit the anticipated revenue projection registering a deficit of about Shs9 billion ($4.5m) due to alleged political interference.

Kampala Town Clerk, Ruth Kijjambu said KCC was lacking a reliable data base to closely monitor divisions’ revenue performance. “We expect to implement this system in the next financial year after acquiring new computer soft-ware. We shall also conduct a tax education workshop for the business community,” Ms Kijjambu said.

via Robert Mwanje at allAfrica.com, 17 Feb 2010

Nigerian judge calls for e-administration of criminal justice

Chief Justice Hassan Gummi has called for Nigeria to embrace ICT for the efficient delivery of justice in the country. “Especially now that it is possible to sit anywhere in the country and coordinate crime in any other state of Nigeria, there is need to embrace the Internet as a tool for justice delivery”, he said. Speaking at a summit on expediting the trial of criminal suspects held in Abuja, he asked “ Have we considered for once how our criminal justice administration will be given a boost if, for instance, the office of the Attorney-General can have access to all data relating to the activities of the various agencies by one push of the button?”

He charged the participants to consider the provision and maintenance of a computerized filing system of accurate and timely documented criminal justice information. “The information in this system would include details on wanted persons, criminal history information, missing persons information, information compiled in the process of investigating crimes, including information on identifiable individuals compiled in an effort to anticipate, prevent or monitor possible criminal activity. From this data bank there will be computerized criminal history, automated finger print identification system, incident-based crime reporting system, case information management system and DNA data bank.”

Gummi however stressed that the success for the data bank depends on qualified manpower. “Without training the necessary manpower that will manage and maintain the required systems, our criminal justice system will still be in its present state if not in a worse state”, he ended.

via Okoro Chinedu at ITNewsAfrica.com, 17 Feb 2010

Rwanda upgrades ID to multi-purpose smart card

Rwanda has launched the next phase of its National ID Project by contracting a British company, De La Rue, to develop a multi-purpose smart card.  According to project coordinator Pascal Nyamulinda, “The services offered will include identification, access to insurance services, bank services and immigration services. ”

The production of the cards has already started and they are expected be ready by the end of the year. “As we integrate the services, we will start with institutions that use electronic systems in their operations. So far only the immigration and emigration department are set for this,” Nyamulinda added. All biometric data required for the new card – digital picture, electric finger print and signature – have already been captured for the existing national identity cards which began to be issued in 2008. Over 95 percent of the population, including those in the diaspora, have already acquired this card.

via Rwandan Development Gateway, 17 Feb 2010

Nigeria battles to control ghost workers

The lack of robust HR and payroll systems administering federal and state government continues to plague Nigerian public expenditure. Bayelsa State government is losing an average of N3.524bn ($24m) annually to ghost workers on its payroll. This development, according to the Director-General of the state’s  Due Process and e-Governance Bureau, Von Kemedi, necessitated the introduction of a biometric exercise to authenticate the actual number of workers in the state’s civil service. The exercise revealed that 11, 696 out of a total of 52,696 workers on the state’s payroll did not exist.

In May last year the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise discovered that about 50 per cent of the 20,000 workforce in the Nigeria Customs Service were ghost workers.

via NigeriaIndependent.com, 10 February 2010

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