Chittagong Custom House is one of the main revenue earning sources of Bangladesh Government. Every year Government generates over BDT 15,000 crore as revenue from Chittagong Custom House. But not much automation work could be done except for the introduction of ASYCUDA++ system. Because of the manual procedures it took a long time to clear a consignment; as a result the cost of doing business was high.
In 2007, officials of custom department raised the urgency of Chittagong custom house automation to mitigate the problems. But Chittagong custom house did not have enough budget or technical resources to perform the job. Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) stepped along in with the task force to help Chittagong Custom House to develop and maintain a sustainable IT solution. . DataSoft was given the responsibility of automating the system under PPP in the Build-Own-Operate–Transfer (BOOT) model considering the budget and recourse limitation. and. Under the contract, DataSoft was supposed to develop the software and need to maintain the system for next five years and hand over the project. Within 3 months of contract assignment, DataSoft developed the full automation system of Chittagong Customs House and officially launched on October 06, 2008.
The new system
The newly developed web based system (www.nbr-ctg.com) had connecter all the relevant stakeholders in to the system. Some of the key stakeholders including Chittagong Custom House, Shipping Agents (MLO/Feeder), Freight Forwarders, C&F Agents, AIR Section-Custom House, Speed Treasury, Custom Intelligence, Oil Bond (Tank Terminal owners), Bond Commission, Berth Operator, CEPZ/KEPZ, Off-Docks, Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), Bangladesh NAVY, Ship Builders, PSI Companies, BGMEA, BKMEA, Importer/Exporter, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Sonali Bank etc.
Project Features include:
o A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) without GOB Finance
o Build-Own-Operate and Transfer (BOOT) Basis
o Centralized Planning and Decentralized Execution
o Involved Restructuring of People, Process and Physical Infrastructure
o Planned, Designed and Developed by Local IT Experience
o Active Participation of Stakeholders
o A WCO compliant software solution
o The project is financed by the privet sector as a result govt. of Bangladesh didn’t have to pay anything from govt treasure.
Outcomes of the project
The Chittagong Custom House Automation Project is one of the most successful government automation projects in the history of Bangladesh. Because of successful automation solutions provided by DataSoft, the 42 steps process was curtailed to only 5 steps. The introduction of full automation and user-friendly workflow based system helped Chittagong Customs House check the TAX evasion tendency. Also, it has reduced the cost of doing business significantly, saving custom processing time by 80%, established transparency doing better risk management. As part of the project DataSoft had also buildup necessary infrastructure for the smooth operation of the project.
The model can be replicated
This Public privet Partnership (PPP) model can be replicated in other government sectors as well. Because it has been observed that some big investment project carryout in the government sector did not sustained as there is lack of infrastructure and technical knowhow in the government sector as most of the government intuition don’t have sufficient IT manpower and budget. If the project is done through PPP and BOOT model this limitations can be addressed and sustainable solutions can be provided to different Government institutions. <-->