GRA workers write to Commissioner General over questionable ITAS deal with Indian company

Julie Essiam, GRA Commissioner General up against GRA workers over deal with Indians

The Ghana Revenue Authority Workers Union (GRAWU) have written to their Commissioner General, Julie Essiam raising concerns about the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) contract she single-handedly awarded to Indian company, Tata Consultancy Services among other things. 

Scanty information from at least two very reliable sources at GRA indicates that the workers raised two main concerns about the contract. Their concerns are around what cost burden the contract will place on GRA since the former CG, Rev. Amishaddai Owusu-Amoah had earlier indicated that there was no money to execute the contract. The other concern is about the staff recruitment for the implementation of the system to be installed by the Indian company and its impact on existing staff.

The workers also hold the position that since the process towards the award of the contract was formally truncated, the whole process should have been started from scratch to give all candidates a fair opportunity to bid, instead of hand picking Tata for the job.

It will be recalled that Techfocus24 reported that Julie Essiam single-handedly approved the contract for Tata Consultancy Services and its Ghana-based Indian partner, IPMC, to take over Ghana’s domestic tax mobilization from 2026.

The CG actually travelled to Indian together with the head of procurement at GRA, and signed the contract with Tata. Then on her return, she congregated the staff of the Domestic Tax Revenue Department (DTRD) and urged them to cooperate with Tata when they come to install their software at GRA.

Julie Essiam is also said to have migrated all IT and IT contracts from Support Services Department (SSD) of GRA to the Commissioner-General’s office, so that she will have personal oversight.

Techfocus24 also gathered from some well-meaning and concerned GRA staff that after the publication of the article about how she willed domestic tax mobilization to an Indian company, Julie Essiam was heard bragging that she does not care about any media publication, and that no one can stop her from executing that deal.

But some staff of GRA said they believe that a day will come when the dire consequences of her actions on the country will make her care.


The whole process towards the award of that particular contract started in 2022, when Rev. Dr. Amishaddai Owusu-Amoah was Commissioner-General of GRA. But he had to truncate the whole process in January 2023 for very genuine reasons, particularly the fact that GRA had no money to undertake the contract, and also because the current contractor for domestic tax mobilization is a local company that has been lauded widely for doing a fantastic job for far less remuneration than what some players in the industry take for doing relatively less.

Techfocus24 earlier reported that the former CG was replaced with Julie Essiam mainly because he stood in the way of that deal when he realized it was not in the national interest. But the sitting government, through the help of their new henchman, Julie Essiam, have finally managed to sign away Ghana’s domestic tax mobilization to Indians.

Take note that come 2026, the current government will be out of power, no matter which political party wins the 2024 elections. So, they have closed a deal through Julie Essiam’s action, with a two-edged sword which shortchanges a competent local company on one hand, and also hands over the data of Ghanaians to an Indian company on a silver platter.

Recent Cancellation

Way back January 3, 2024, the former CG of GRA, Dr. Owusu-Amoah wrote to IPMC/Tata informing them that the whole process to award a contract for the building of an Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) had been CANCELLED because of budgetary cuts.

This was after Techfocus24 had initiated investigations into the whole deal and spoken with some key people at GRA, all of whom were opposed to the moves to take the contract from a very competent Ghanaian company called Axon Information Systems, whose ITAS called GITMIS had been lauded for helping GRA far exceed revenue targets for three years running.

Dr. Owusu-Amoah’s abrupt removal from office came together with the complete dissolution of the GRA Board, then led by Dr. Oteng Gyasi, who together with his board members, were also opposed to the deal.

Since the dissolution of the GRA Board, there has not been a new board. So, Julie Essiam has been working on this deal unilaterally, until now that she has single-handedly approved the contract for Tata and their local agents, IPMC, in spite of the objections of the former board, and that of Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC).

Previously when Techfocus24 reached out to several officials at GRA and recently past board members, everyone of them passed the buck to the new GRA boss, saying she is the only one who knows what she is doing. Now some GRA staff are of the belief that she may have signed the deal for Tata, but getting workers to cooperate will be very hard, as the deal is largely viewed as shady and “not in the national interest.”

It would also appear that the alleged boastful claims by officials of IPMC/Tata that they will get the deal at all cost, may be true after all, and the person at the centre of this questionable deal, is the IPMC CEO, Amar Deep S. Hari – an Indian man who Ghana has gifted a soft-landing many years ago. But now, he has elected to pay back the country in this manner.

Amar Deep S. Hari, CEO of IPMC, the man at the centre of this grand scheme to hand over Ghana’s domestic tax mobilization to Indians


This ITAS deal and the way it been handled in the past, till now that Julie Essiam has unilaterally dished it on a silver platter to an Indian company, without the blessing of a board, PPA and the CTRC, has been nothing but questionable.

Previous Cancellation

Long before even the former Commissioner General wrote in January 3, 2024 to cancel the deal, he had written way back in August 2023 to inform all 12 candidates who put in bids for the contract that due to budgetary constraints the bidding process had been cancelled. Then a month later, September 2023, on the blind side of 11 candidates, he wrote exclusively to IPMC/Tata to submit their technical and financial proposal for approval.

Find copies of the two letter below:

Meanwhile, prior to clandestinely writing the September 2023 letter exclusively to IPMC/Tata, the former CG commissioned KPMG to do a further audit of all the 12 bids, and the results for the three top bidders, each of which obtained over 80% score on technical competencies, indicated that the local entity already doing the job, Axon Information System scored highest on financials (value for money) with about US$42 million, while IPMC/Tata scored the lowest because they were the most expensive – US$69.7 million. Atos and Persol Consult was second with US$61 million.

After it came to the attention of the former CG and the then GRA board, that the matter was being investigate by Techfocus24, and it was about to go public, the former CG heeded to the voice of reason and pulled the brakes on the deal. Indeed, he was said to have even written to the government informing them of the challenges with the contract, just like he reportedly did in the case of the controversial SML deal.

But, as it were, the government did not pay attention to the issues he raised and went ahead with its plan to capture domestic tax mobilization from a very competent local company and hand it over to an Indian company, whose solution called ITAx, has been found to be problematic and kicked out of parts of Africa, particularly Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya.

CTRC Rejection

Moreover, the Central Tender Review Committee had long disqualified IPMC/Tata from getting the contract on the grounds that IPMC/Tata, among other things, failed to meet up to 80% of GRA’s requirements on deployment experience and also failed the 30% local content test.

This was contained in two separate letters dated January 20, 2023, and another one on March 30, 2023 in which the CTRC upheld its original position in the January letter.

Find copies of both letter below: 

Again, the evidence is there to show that the current vendor – Axon, which is a wholly-Ghanaian-owned company, is doing a great job by all standards, and GRA officials have testified that Axon’s GITMIS (Ghana Integrated Tax Management and Information System) is at par with any ITAS in the world.

Techfocus24 did a very detailed article about how this whole process began and how it finally led to the replacement of the 62-year-old former CG, with a 61-year-old woman under very strange circumstances including the complete dissolution of the entire GRA board.

Check the link below for the full details:

Why the GRA boss was removed in favour of an Indian company

In spite of all the foregoing, the new CG, working under the whims and caprices of some state and private sector actors, have gone ahead and willed Ghana’s domestic tax mobilization to an Indian company with a questionable solution.

The next government

Now that Julie Essiam has unilaterally signed Ghana’s domestic tax mobilization away to Indians, it will be left for the next government, whether an NDC, NPP, New Force, Movement for Change, LPG or whichever it will be, to agree to work with the Indians or allow the Ghanaian company, said to be doing a great job at a much lower cost, to continue their good work.

Indeed, allowing an Indian company to manage domestic tax revenue mobilization in Ghana means more than just revenue collection. It means the data of Ghanaians, particularly taxpayers, which are linked to their Ghana Cards, will be at the disposal of an Indian company. Moreover, there is no telling how that company may manipulate the tax system in favour of its colleague Indian companies in Ghana.

There have been allegations somewhere in Africa, where one Indian IT company helped a very big and popular Indian merchant to evade taxes for a long time until 2014 when the fraud was discovered. But the case did not go far because the state institutions handling the matter, and some politicians with knowledge of the matter, allegedly got compromised and allowed the matter to die.

In the national interest, it is important for Parliament, Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) or even the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to be interested in this contract and how it got approved for Indians.

All efforts to reach Julie Essiam for comment proved futile, as she did not pick her calls and will not also respond to delivered WhatsApp messages.

Meanwhile, Techfocus24 has made a Right to Information (RTI) request to GRA for a copy of the contract and proof of PPA’s approval for the contract. The request was made on Friday, June 21, 2024 but there has been been no response.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here