Several new proposals were proposed by the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) to make the work of the Inland Revenue Department more efficient including proper implementation of the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS), which is a major computer system established for tax revenue collection in the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
The above was discussed when the Committee on Public Accounts met in Parliament yesterday under the chairmanship of Member of Parliament Kabir Hashim.
The COPA pointed out that the Inland Revenue Department under the Ministry of Finance had started the software system called RAMIS in 2014 to increase the efficiency of its tax revenue collection by investing about Rs.10 billion and information has been received that it is not functioning properly.
The Chairman said that he believes that more money has already been spent to strengthen this system and emphasized that it is necessary to find out whether spending money further for this purpose is effective.
The Auditor General mentioned that the Inland Revenue Department does not provide him with information about the service agreement and relevant payment details related to the above system. He further pointed out that the Inland Revenue Department refuses to provide particular information to the Auditor General according to the agreement, and that it is against the constitution.
The Inland Revenue officials stated that there is a need of updating this software system started in 2014 with the new Inland Revenue Act brought in 2017. They further pointed out that there is a problem in giving out the contractual information, according to the agreement with the Singaporean company that created the above software system. Also, because of this agreement is an agreement between two governments, the intervention of the government will be appropriate for its future activities, the officials of IRD said.
Thus, since there are issues in many aspects of the RAMIS system, including procurement, the COPA proposed to form two sub-committees to investigate the possibility of bringing this system to the operational level in a manner suitable for the country.
It is expected that the committee to be established jointly by the Attorney General’s Department under the leadership of the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance will examine the legal conditions related to the RAMIS Agreement.
The committee to be established jointly with The University of Moratuwa, the Sri Lanka Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), the Inland Revenue Department, and the Ministry of Finance to look into the possibility of updating the software system.
It was also agreed to submit the reports containing the conclusions on the relevant matters to the COPA within 06 weeks.