How Can Public Outreach and Government Business be Enhanced? The Implementation of e-Government Services in the Domestic Tax Division, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana


Term Paper, 2020

15 Pages


Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of The Study
1.2 Objective of the Study
1.3 Research Question
1.4 Organization of the Study

2. LITERATURE / THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE
2.1 Introduction
2.2 E-Government / Government to Citizens (G2C)
2.3 Background To E-Government Development in Ghana
2.4 Public Engagement and E-Participation
2.5 Dimensions of the E-Government Environment

3. CASE STUDY ORGANSIATION
3.1 Summary Profile ofthe Domestic Tax Division: Ghana Revenue Authority

4. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Participation and The Domestic Tax Division, Ghana Revenue Authority
4.3 Policy Implementation: Socio-Economic Context
4.4 Conclusion

References

ABSTRACT

There is a compelling need for reforms within the public sector and this has continuously occupied government's policy frameworks all around the world because of the need to “get things right” through better policy improvement and implementation. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, governments have been devising ways to use information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance the performance of the public sector. The use of e-government services has been seen as an enabler in automating a broad range of government functions. The main objective of the study was to underscore the importance of public participation or outreach in implementation of e-government services. A case study design was used and the Domestic Tax Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority was adopted. The study relied on e-government theories, public policy theories and activities of the Ghana Revenue Authority in e-government service provision and the involvement of the public in their implementation. The study recognized that the Domestic Tax Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, unlike other businesses, does not decide who they choose as their clients and are expected to serve everyone regardless of their background or where they are located. The study concludes that agencies implementing e-government services have to consider that a significant part of society lacks information on the use of e-government services therefore must be involved in the participation process of e-government services of tax administration to help achieve better outcome.

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of The Study

There is a compelling need for reforms within the public sector and this has continuously occupied government's policy frameworks all around the world because of the need to “get things right” through better policy improvement and implementation. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, governments have been devising ways to use information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance the performance of the public sector. The use of e-government services has been seen as an enabler in automating a broad range of government functions.

In 2010 GoG under its flagship project “eGhana Project”, it signed a public-private partnership (PPP) contract to restructure 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 plan to achieve greater efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness in the delivery of selected government services using information and communications technology (ICT). The objective of eGhana was to broaden the tax base, increase compliance and transparency, reduce incidence of fraud, and improve the competitiveness of the business climate in Ghana.

A world bank (The World Bank Ghana Public Sector Reform for Results Project (P164665) Combined Project Information Documents / Integrated Safeguards Datasheet (PID/ISDS), 2018) report on Ghana’s public sector reform for results project noted the following: “the Government of Ghana (GoG) mounted Client Service Units (CSU) in metropolitan district assemblies (MDAs) to receive and deal with citizen complaints”. However, this attempt did not translate into improvements in service delivery due to the uncertain mandates regarding mechanisms for engaging with citizens. This suggests that citizen centered services usually lack mechanisms that engages them for the uptake of such services. In this same regard, e-government services targets can be achieved when citizens are engaged in the implementation of the services to appreciate a better use of them.

eGovernment applications especially those that need Governments to connect and transact with citizens (G2C) require shaping these services to be customer friendly. This paper seeks to understand the participation of businesses and citizens in the implementation of e-government services. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as an agency of government was established to see to the mobilization of revenue for the fulfillment ofthe budget of the Government of Ghana. It is expected to devise great plans by enabling citizen centered systems to improve revenue collection. In the recent past, revenues have fallen short of targets due to the unbearable hurdles businesses and citizens have to go through in submitting their monthly or annual tax returns. In a country with a huge ratio of informal sector activities, it is only prudent for the GRA to use e-government systems in enhancing revenue mobilization. Interestingly, there is some form of participation with citizens however a lot more should be done to achieve greater results with revenue inflows. This and many other relevant issues will be linked to the e-government theory surrounding user participation and to exemplify the kind of impact that can accrue to the authority in terms of increased revenue collections, if citizen participation should be involved in the administering of e-government services.

1.2 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study was to underscore the importance of public participation or outreach in implementation of e-government services.

1.3 Research Question

1. Is public participation (outreach) instrumental in implementation of eGovernment Services?

1.4 Organization of the Study

The study is organized into four sections. Chapter one provides a background to the study, an objective of the study, research question and the organization of the study. In chapter two key concepts are defined and discusses specific topical issues. Chapter three presents a brief summary of the case study organization adopted in the study while Chapter four covers the discussion and conclusion of the study.

2. LITERATURE / THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE

2.1 Introduction

This section looked at a collection of theories and literature regarding e-government and public participation. The different viewpoints are captured in the headings that outline the parts of the theme.

2.2 E-Government / Government to Citizens (G2C)

Electronic government or “e-Government” is defined as “the use of information and communication technologies by governments to provide public services, to improve managerial effectiveness and to promote democratic values; as well as a regulatory framework that facilitates information intensive initiatives and fosters the knowledge of society” (Gant, Jon P 2008). The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the exchange of information with citizens and businesses on topics such as tax compliance, public utility services, as well as vehicle and voting registrations. Most importantly, the roll-out of e-government services goes along with a shift towards a more citizen or customer centered culture.For a friendly culture to be established in the use of e-government services, participation or involvement of citizens in the design and or implementation of the e-government service(s) is paramount. Government-to-Citizen e-Government stresses on making information accessible, flexible and easy to citizens online. It is known as a citizen-centered e-Government when governments go a step further to provide online services designed and implemented around the citizen needs. Many designs of Government web sites in the early years organized the content, particularly the hyperlinks to government services, around the already existing traditional structure (ITU 2009). During this period with low internet usage and access, citizens would spend time surfing to find government information through a laborious web pages finding little or no information relevant to them. Learning lessons from these stressful tasks gave a focus to developers of e-Government services to adopt customer-centric methods to help citizens become more encouraged to access information on government websites. According to the ITU, typical practices of citizen centered approach to e-Government include: organizing content around citizen needs; aligning the structure of the pages in the web site to reduce the number of clicks it takes to find information, access a service, or to complete a transaction; improving the affective qualities of the site; adding functions to facilitate communication between citizens and the government; and, enabling the user to customize the site contents (for example enabling ‘cookies’ geared towards user preferences). Moving towards a citizen centered and gearing towards an increased user uptake of e-government services points to a good social and business sense as agencies of governments will need to strike a balance between achieving internal corporate goals and an overall e-government service outcome. (e.g. user friendly, uptake, maximum utility or benefit, data security, and transparency).

2.3 Background To E-Government Development in Ghana

The eGhana project was birthed by the Government of Ghana and was part of a comprehensive programme to emphasize the importance of ICT in achieving economic growth, increased competitiveness, accountable, efficient and transparent service. To achieve this new strategic direction, and following an extensive nation-wide engagement and participative process, the GoG adopted the Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development Policy (ICT4AD) in October 2003. This began when the Government undertook a program of liberalization in the telecommunications sector with an Act in 1996 creating the regulatory authority, National Communication Authority (World Bank 2006). Under the e-government project, all the three arms of government (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) and agencies under them are expected to be connected electronically from the National to the local level. Infrastructure network was developed to allow for the connectivity of government agencies. The e-government infrastructure has covered 15 towns and 21 departments and agencies connected to the network (Mensah, 2016).

To foster the implementation of the eGhana project, The National Information Technology Agency was established by Act 771 in 2008 as the ICT policy implementing arm of the Ministry of Communications. NITA is the agency responsible for implementing Ghana’s IT policies. Its mandate includes identifying, promoting and developing innovative technologies, standards, guidelines and practices among government agencies and local governments, as well as ensuring the sustainable growth of ICT via research & development planning and technology acquisition strategies to facilitate Ghana’s prospect of becoming a technology-driven, knowledge-and values-based economy as espoused in the e-Ghana project which ideally seeks to assist the Government generate growth and employment by leveraging ICT and public-private partnerships (NITA 2017). For a sustainable e-government service delivery the establishment of the National Information Technology Agency is essential.

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Details

Title
How Can Public Outreach and Government Business be Enhanced? The Implementation of e-Government Services in the Domestic Tax Division, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana
College
University of Erfurt  (Willy Brandt School of Public Policy)
Course
Implementation of E-Government
Author
Year
2020
Pages
15
Catalog Number
V514627
ISBN (eBook)
9783346183811
ISBN (Book)
9783346183828
Language
English
Tags
authority, revenue, public, outreach, implementation, government, ghana, enhanced, domestic, division, business, services
Quote paper
Stephen Tete Mantey (Author), 2020, How Can Public Outreach and Government Business be Enhanced? The Implementation of e-Government Services in the Domestic Tax Division, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/514627

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