The Chairman of Ghana Link Network Services Ltd. (Ghana Link), Nick Danso Adjei, has described as welcome news that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) is requesting executive access to the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) platform.
The ICUMS platform, known for its role in streamlining Customs processes through a single-window system, has attracted attention from various stakeholders.
Mr. Adjei, who is the driving force behind ICUMS’ implementation, expressed his openness to the OSP’s interest in the platform. He emphasised that the OSP’s presence will show transparency on the part of all stakeholders, ensuring the smooth-functioning of operations.
“I know they are sorting a few things – like what specific information they need from the GRA; but it is welcome news to learn that the OSP has shown interest to be on the platform, and I think it’s good to have it there. Our doors are always open to all government agencies which show interest to come on the platform or use it to enhance their work,” Mr. Danso said.
According to him, the National Security, Ghana Immigration Services and all other relevant security agencies are already active on the ICUMS platform, pointing out that having the OSP on the platform as well is welcome news.
He therefore urged all stakeholders to remain calm and allow the Ghana Revenue Authority to meet with the OSP department on modalities with regard to what kind of access they need in the system.
Chairman Nick Danso Adjei’s comments come after OSP’s request to the Customs Division of the revenue regulator, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), to be given executive access to the ICUMS.
We understand that at the moment GRA has assembled a 9-member team tasked with engaging the Special Prosecutor in discussions about accessing ICUMS. This team aims to foster communication, address concerns and provide clarification to the OSP regarding the request.
Meanwhile, the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has raised concerns about the ICUMS platform’s sensitivity – as it houses valuable and confidential data of importers, exporters and business operators. The association cautioned that any mishandling of data by the OSP could have severe repercussions for the business community.
In a press release dated June 15, 2023, the association demanded clarification from the OSP regarding the motives behind their sudden request, and the specific data they seek to access from ICUMS. While asserting their commitment to supporting efforts at eradicating corrupt practices in the port sector, the association stressed a need to ensure protection of sensitive information.
However, Nick Danso Adjei and Ghana Link – which welcome the OSP’s access request to promote transparency, has called for calm as GRA engages the OSP and stakeholders on the future direction of access to the ICUMS platform.
The ICUMS platform has revolutionized Customs processes and enhanced efficiency in Ghana’s import and export sector.