PaCCS rollout, $11.5m payment: FBR body to probe pact with Agility

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue has constituted a high-level fact-finding inquiry committee to ascertain the motive behind repeated extensions in the agreement with M/s Agility for rollout of Pakistan Customs Computerised System (PaCCS) and payment of $ 11.5 million to the company.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Wednesday that Board-in-Council of the FBR has taken a decision to constitute a fact-finding inquiry committee to find out the reasons which led to rollout of PaCCS. The FBR has also made payments to the said company from time to time which also needs to be thoroughly examined. The whole issue would be examined on the pretext that whether formal written contract was inked between the FBR and the said company for making payments and rollout of PaCCS.

As per Board-in-Council decision, a fact-finding inquiry committee comprising FBR Member Customs, FBR Member (IT) and two other members has been constituted to find out as to how all this happened; how the agreement with M/s Agility was extended from time to time; and how the amount of $ 11.5 million was paid to M/s Agility.

The Board-in-Council has directed the committee to take necessary action in this regard.

The Board-in-Council has further directed the committee that the report of the fact-finding inquiry shall be submitted within 60 days. In May, 2005 PaCCS was launched (with limited functionalities) at Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) Karachi Port for automated and paperless customs clearances. The said company was selected for the development of a software. The company had the mandate to review the business cycles, reengineer the business procedures and get it translated into a software. The duration of the contract was seven months. The PaCCS, in a pilot mode, was later rolled out to two other terminals, i.e., PICT and QICT, at Karachi Port without formal contractual arrangement, with the company. Later the audit system of the PaCCS revealed that the system created as a Pilot had very limited functionalities. In 2010, the FBR asked the company to wind-up its operations in Pakistan.

The company claimed cost of its services given to the FBR for a period of around four years. In the meantime, the company filed a case before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), FBR forcing to defend its case at international level.

Source: Business Recorder