“A lot of things that would have required driving a car, or trying to make a physical appearance, now within a click of a button you can do all that without talking to any GRA staff. It has given us a new platform to interact with the public – notices, new developments, reforms we are planning. This is a big win for GRA and it’s a huge value addition for us in terms of our work” said Mr Essa Jallow, Deputy Commissioner General and Head of the Tax Department at Gambia Revenue Authority.
GRA’s new website https://www.gra.gm is the first of its kind in the country. The site is packed with functionalities including accessibility tools, staff ID verification, tax calculators, FAQs on domestic and custom taxes, a resources centre and GRA TV.
Following a public tendering process, Gambian firm Forté Innovations was awarded the contract to build the website.
Mr Jallow added: “What necessitated the new website was based on an absolute need to serve our customer base. It was a critical element that was absent in our service delivery. Forté Innovations have delivered above our expectations. It’s next-to-none, modern cutting edge technology. I’m sure the public will appreciate this very much in terms of the range of services that we have put there. And the ability to interact in a very seamless, less time consuming manner.”
The website also features a ground-breaking component that allows the public to verify the identity of anyone who claims to be an employee of GRA. There have been instances of individuals taking money from businesses as ‘tax payments’, when in fact they were defrauding these companies. According to Mr Jallow, this will enable GRA to “bring more security around our work, and also protect our taxpayers, in terms of making sure that they are dealing with the right people.”
Malang M. Touray, Executive Director of Forté, said:
“This web application is 100% Gambian and is testament to the fact that we, as Gambians, can drive our own national development. It’s designed to be inclusive – it’s the firstgovernment website that has accessibility tools – making it easier for persons with disabilities to access information and online services. It’s also available in multiple languages. In future you’ll be able to pay your taxes and file your returns online too. We are excited about the impact this website can have on GRA’s work and on the public. We thank GRA for trusting that Gambian companies can develop the best solutions to our challenge.”