Suspected cloning of National Single Window raises concerns

Business News of Thursday, 10 January 2019

Source: thebftonline.com

2019-01-10

The National Single Window software is being used at the country’s ports

Investigators are probing what is suspected to be the plagiarising of the National Single Window software used by the government of Ghana at the country’s ports, and selling it back to GoG at an estimated US$180million through a 10-year sole-sourced contract on the blind-side of Cabinet and Parliament.

The probe became necessary after it emerged that the supposed newly-built and superior software with which Ghana Link Network Service Limited with its overseas partner, CUPIA Koria Customs Service (UNIPASS), was to operate is no different from the existing systems already being operated by government.

Checks on the website of the supposedly newly-built and superior system being brought by UNIPASS displays ‘Ghana’s Trade Hub’, which is the government of Ghana existing facility.

The website also has posters and artworks featuring the “achievement of paperless ports so far…” which were designed by the Office of the Vice-President in early 2018 based on works of the existing operators.

Additionally, a click on social media links such as Facebook and Twitter of Uni-Pass actually opens the social media pages of the existing vendors – with all the contact details and information on the existing vendors.

Some Customs officers and freight forwarders who were privy to demonstrations of the new superior system expressed their confusion and called for an immediate probe.

The supposed Uni-Pass system looks exactly like the existing Ghana Single Window system. It features, designs, and its operations resemble the current system, with one of its modules, labelled UNI-PAARS (PAARS being the existing system used by Customs).

The suspected cloning has triggered investigations which could result in criminal prosecutions. The suspected cloned system is what has been sold back to the GoG for US$180million in a 10-year deal endorsed by the Trade Ministry.

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