The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has petitioned the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate alleged malfeasance in the collection and lodgement of property rates by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The Chamber indicated that it had uncovered the illegal lodgement of government funds, including property rates, into Digital City Solution Limited (DCS), a private company's account with the GRA being used as a decoy.
It noted that earlier this year, the GRA announced a government of Ghana electronic payment account, ‘myassmbly.gov.gh, for the payment of property, adding that their investigations however revealed that the said payment platform account was being managed by DCS as the entity engaged in the collection and receipt of payments of all property rate taxes, in contrast to what Ghanaians were made to believe.
“Apart from the fact that a private account is being used to collect and lodge government funds, DCS is also engaged in retaining government funds beyond 48 hours in contravention of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921)”, the petition stated.
ChaLoG added it had uncovered that DCS was the entity transferring government funds directly to the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) without paying any taxes on the 30 percent commission it retained, adding that it was an illegality being supervised by the GRA.
Meanwhile, the Chamber has also written to the Auditor-General to notify the Audit Service about their discovery.
In January 2023, the GRA commenced the implementation of a unified common property rate platform in conjunction with “myassembly.gov.gh” in partnership with the MMDAs.
According to the GRA, “myassembly.gov.gh” is a complete end-to-end district revenue collection and administration platform designed to enhance the collection and accounting of property rates and is also linked to the Ghana.gov.gh payment platform.