10 Dec, 2019
Reading, 10th December 2019 - Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) and implementation partner Invenio Business Solutions launched a state-of-the-art digital online system for Fiji’s taxpayers, on Wednesday 4 December. The New Tax Information System (NTIS) will enable access to 24x7 online services, reducing the need for taxpayers to visit FRCS offices. The system is expected to benefit 900,000 Fijian citizens and will also provide a platform to improve the ease of doing business in Fiji.
Transforming Fiji’s tax landscape
FRCS embarked on a national level change programme, with the support of the Fijian government, to modernise tax administration and enhance the taxpayer experience. The organisation needed to simplify legislations and improve processes to help increase taxpayer compliancy. Equally as important was the requirement for a business rules framework which could be easily adapted as laws continue to evolve. This multi-faceted digital transformation was not without its complexities.
To overcome challenges and to implement an agile solution, Invenio and FRCS worked in close collaboration to examine the current IT landscape, assess the gaps and develop an approach aligned to the organisation’s long-term aspirations. As a result, FRCS is well on its way to becoming a truly modern data-driven tax authority in the future.
The successful go-live is a testament to the partnership, but also to the level of commitment and dedication provided by both organisations. Having undertaken such a major change project, the FRCS now has a digital core where future tax innovations can be built to enhance compliance as well as Fiji’s trade environment.
A platform built for the future
The Taxpayer Online Service (TPOS) is a self-service platform which allows taxpayers to access accounts, statements and business license applications via a 24x7 online portal - all without visiting the FRCS offices. Serving as an integrated core, the platform will now encourage higher levels of voluntary taxpayer compliance. The TPOS is based on SAP S/4HANA® software which leverages SAP’s industry-specific solution for tax and revenue management (TRM).
The platform has replaced manual processes with workflow driven operations and automated functions. Importantly, it’s also integrated with ministries, banks and other third parties. These substantial changes allow internal employees and tax officers to create consolidated taxpayer views across regimes, levies, duties and charges; thereby gaining greater visibility, saving time, and helping to reduce the national tax gap.
But most critical for the FRCS is the ability to run its own solution in the long-term. Invenio experts will continue to provide ongoing employee training to equip FRCS with the right tools and knowledge, ultimately enabling more control and continuous innovation across Fiji’s tax and trade landscape.
To achieve this vision Invenio worked collaboratively with the FRCS team, led by their CEO Visvanath Das. Arun Bala CEO at Invenio commented on the partnership: “To deliver a transformational change programme of this scale and complexity for any government authority is a substantial challenge. This programme was delivered successfully due to the guidance, leadership and commitment provided by Mr. Visvanath Das, the CEO of FRCS - the main programme sponsor from FRCS. It has been a pleasure working with him and his team and I look forward to continuing this journey with them.”
Mr. Visvanath Das, CEO of FRCS said: “This is history in the making for the modern vision of the Fijian Government. The new system is changing the face of tax administration in Fiji by enabling 100% online taxpayer services, creating voluntary compliance and self-assessment environments, as well as third party interfaces to achieve pre-population of tax returns - an online payment opportunity enhancing ease of doing business and world class customer satisfaction. This is all about adding value to our stakeholder objectives for the next 20 years. The successful rollout of Phase 1 is a testament to our excellent relationship with our implementation partner Invenio Business Solutions and our dedicated project team at FRCS.”
Dr. Martin Klein, Global Head of IBU Public Sector at SAP added: “FRCS and our partner Invenio delivered a focused, hardworking and team-spirited approach, making possible the successful go-live of the SAP Tax and Revenue Management (TRM) platform - the solution behind an important milestone in Fiji. Enhanced citizen experience has been a key factor for FRCS throughout the project, and Fijian citizens will soon realise many benefits the new tax platform has to offer.”
Invenio’s CEO Arun Bala added: “This is great for Fiji’s future! Now that FRCS has undertaken this digital transformation, they have a modern digital core where future tax innovations can be built. After full implementation, the system will have 25 different tax types, levies and charges, enabling the whole tax regime to be integrated into one platform.”
The Fiji Revenue & Customs Service administer and collect all direct, indirect taxes and customs duties for the country. FRCS is the major funder of the National Budget and their strategic plan is aligned with the Government’s national plan to ensure sustainable and effective performance. They are the largest tax authority among the South Pacific Islands.
Invenio Business Solutions is an award-winning company, headquartered in Reading, UK, which solves complex business challenges with innovative technical solutions. The company has specialist expertise and experience in media, digital supply chain and the public sector. For over 10 years, Invenio have worked with major governments and public sector organisations around the world conducting the design and digital transformation of tax authorities, in addition to providing ongoing consultancy services and advice. Formed in 2006, Invenio has subsidiary offices in Germany, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Fiji, India and USA with a 1,000-strong workforce.