KAMPALA – The commissioning of the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) in Fort Portal Municipality this afternoon has given hope to Local Governments in Uganda that have become increasingly dependent on Central Government transfers causing the fiscal decentralization strategy not to fully achieve its intended objectives of devolution due to ineffective own source revenue management systems.
The system was commissioned by, Mr. Deo Ndimo, Town Clerk, Mayor, municipal councilors, technical planning committees among other officials. Also in attendance were Heads of the Departments, Division Senior Assistant Town Clerks and Treasurers, Chairperson LC3 and division executives, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Local Government Finance Commission and Collecting Agents.
One of the issues at the commissioning event was capacity building for Fort Portal municipality management, technical staff to be able to carry out Taxpayers Registration, Assessment and Billing, Electronic Payments, MIS Reports. The political leadership committed its support towards the roll out of the system and sensitization of the taxpayers. 294 staff and political leaders in Fort Portal Municipality have been trained.
In his remarks, the Town Clerk Fort Portal Municpal Council, Mr. Deo Ndimo was upbeat about the future of the Municipal Council revenue management. He noted that with the introduction of the IRAS platform the efficiency levels in the tax administration system will rise, thereby reducing leakages that have caused the revenue to remain at unsatisfactory levels. He said the challenges of revenue management would be history if this system of IRAS is put to full and good use.
The World Bank IRAS Consultant gave the Project overview and IRAS Benefits and key to note was that the IRAS solution is an all in one system that improves data management hence enabling fluent local revenue registration, assessment, billing, payment, and performance monitoring. He added that improvement in transparency, accountability; efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery to the citizens are also some of the benefits of the IRAS platform.