REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
CONSULTANCY SERVICES - FIRM SELECTION

NAME OF PROJECT: eTRANSFORM GHANA PROJECT
ASSIGNMENT TITLE: REVIEW AND UPGRADE REQUIREMENTS OF GOVERNMENT ONLINE SERVICES PORTAL AND Epayment 

The Government of the Republic of Ghana has received financing from the World Bank toward the cost of the eTransform Project, and intends to apply part of the proceeds for the procurement of consulting services.  The Consultant will be required to:
review the operational, technical, financial and legal activities of the Government Online Services Portal and the e-Payment Portal including determining level of adoption by the public and Government organizations operating the platforms, and recommend enhancements and improvements to be considered for eServices platform upgrade, develop a work plan for eServices deployments within government and develop technical specifications for eServices upgrade bidding document as part of the Government digital services program for public service delivery

The Ministry of Communications now invites eligible consulting firms to indicate their interest in providing services for this project.

Deadline: Thursday September 15, 2016.  

 

MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

COUNTRY:    REPUBLIC OF GHANA

NAME OF PROJECT: eTransform Ghana

IDA Credit No.: P144140, IDA5304-GH

ASSIGNMENT TITLE:

Review and Upgrade requirements of Government Online Services Portal and ePayment Portal

The Government of the Republic of Ghana has received financing from the World Bank toward the cost of the eTransform Project, and intends to apply part of the proceeds for consulting services.

The objective of the Project is to improve the efficiency and coverage of government service delivery using ICT.

In December 2014, the Government of Ghana introduced government online services platform (eservices.gov.gh] and a state-of-the-art payment interfaces and Government e-Commerce/e-Payment platform (ePay.gov.gh) for selected services provided by thirteen (13) Government Organizations on pilot bases to improve service delivery channels to the public.

The main objectives of establishing the e-Services platform are to shorten queues, encourage timely provision of government services, increase the public accessibility of government services and eventually increase the volume of business between
government and the public. Some services deployed on eServices Portal include application of birth certificate, marriage licenses, police background check reports etc.

The Government e-Payment gateway platform (GEPP) was set up to facilitate online payment for various government taxes, fees and services. The platform also acts as an e-Commerce platform for purchasing of government services and goods and making payment for them. The items purchased online are various government services and goods including Certificates, licenses, reports, permits etc.

The Ministry of Communications/NITA wish to review the utilization and expected benefits of the eServices and e-Payment platforms and its effectiveness to enable government achieve its purpose.

The objectives of the assignment are:

  • To review the existing Government Online Services Portal (eServices) and e-Payment portal (GEPP) and recommend areas of improvements.
  • To develop enhancement requirements for implementation of new services for inclusion in eServices /GEPP portal upgrade.
  • To develop technical specifications for eServices and GEPP platform integration, sustainability model, and deployment work plan for implementation of the platforms.
  • To develop eServices/GEPP operational guide.

The consulting services ("the Services") include to hire a Consultant to review the operational, technical, financial and legal activities of the Government Online Services Portal and the e-Payment Portal including determining level of adoption by the public and Government organizations operating the platforms, and recommend enhancements and improvements to be considered for eServices platform upgrade, develop a work plan for eServices deployments within government and develop technical specifications for eServices upgrade bidding document as part of the Government digital services program for public service delivery.

The firm will be required to provide the following services:

Operational Review

  • Review online services developed under e-Services and e-Payment portal platforms, and determine the ease of use, the rate of adoption, and areas of further development. The user adoption rate may be determined using transaction volume per day or month and other numerical metrics as proposed. The assessment criteria should cover relevant details to provide informed decision on upgrade to e-Services and e-Payment and recommend the form in which e-Services integration and upgrade should take.
  • Review and recommend improvements in the eServices/GEPP implementation governance structure and monitoring mechanisms to ensure smooth implementation of platforms.
  • Review government services available online and the suitability of such services for online processing, MDA setup, end point device availability and readiness for processing of online applications and recommend relevant policies to drive eServices deployments in Ghana.
  • Define criteria for selection of additional services to be deployed online by the eight pilot MDAs and 30 new MDAs and MMDAs to be identified based on agreed selection criteria.
  • Review and improve existing e-Services/GEPP portal operational guidelines, Service level agreement and implementation policies.
  • Outline trends in government online services portals developed by Countries such as Mauritius. Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Kenya, Rwanda etc and recommend improvements and development strategy for Ghana Government Online Services.

e-Services Technical Review and Upgrade Recommendations

  • Review e-Services platform access via mobile and smart-phone devices and recommend other access channels.
  • Review and recommend security strategy for deployment of e-Services Portal Infrastructure.
  • Review hardware, hosting and connectivity infrastructure including MDA endpoint devices and network infrastructure policy for Portal use and determine and recommend improvements in hosting platforms, endpoint devices and quantities required for rollout within MDAs and all branch offices of MDAs.
  • Review scalability and cluster configuration of GEPP and recommend methods for increasing throughput and resilience.
  • Review e-Services portal development and compliance with Ghana Government Enterprise Architecture, interoperability framework and ISO standards.
  • Review workflows and application processing statuses defined for processing of
    online applications and recommend improvements.
  • Review and recommend eServices/GEPP web reporting and transactional reporting and determine suitability for data sharing for data verification purposes, integration of transactional reports in open data portal and transactional reporting for management decision making.

e-payment Review and Upgrade recommendations

  • Review the Ghana e-Payment portal (GEPP) for suitability as a payment hub for all Government revenue collections and payments for social services.
  • Review existing revenue and accounts reconciliation processes and recommend improvements for automated audit trail activities.
  • Define requirements for automated reconciliation mechanisms for online payment transactions with bank transfers in settlement accounts.
  • Review revenue controls ensuring revenues are secured as per financial administration regulations and Controller and Accountant General Department operational requirements and other policies.
  • Provide advice on the use of e-Services Payment Card with branding of e-Services/e-Payment services as a payment type.
  • Investigate and advice the suitability of rollout of traditional and mobile POS in Government Offices and integrating with GEPP for provision of payment services
  •  Investigate and define requirements for integration of internet banking and other bank payment services to be provided by all Banks in Ghana on GEPP.
  •  Determine implementation requirements and Ghana's readiness for implementation of GEPP online payment types including American Express. EMV, China Union Pay, Paypal, Diners, Bank Transfer, Ghana Local Bank Proprietary Cards, Prepaid cards, vouchers, e-Zwich, USSD, gh-link etc.
  • The current GEPP platform model is a revenue collection model. Review and assess requirements for GEPP enhancement to provide online payment services for the following:
    • Central and Local Government payment to Citizens example payment for social services, Pensioners etc.
    • Government Payment to Government Employees
    • Local Government Payment Distribution to District Assemblies and Metropolitan Municipal Assemblies.
  • Develop deployment work-plan for GEPP platform upgrade.

Legal Framework Requirements

  • Study current laws on government online services, Consumer Protection and digital signatures in Ghana including Electronic Transaction Law (Act 772), Data Protection Law (Act 843), NITA Law (Act 771) and others as specified by MoC/NITA and recommend improvements in support of online government service delivery.
  • Review e-Signature guideline document available at NITA and recommend appropriate digital/electronic signature requirements and mechanisms including the use of digital certificate solutions and other methods for signing of document and e-Forms.
  • Study the financial administration regulations and other applicable laws and recommend approach for adoption of GEPP as a national government payment hub for all Government Organizations including autonomous government organizations.
  • Develop policy directives for adoption of Digital Services (e-Services upgrade) by MDAs/MMDAs and the public.
  •  Review and update revenue collection agreements/SLAs with partner banks and MDAs in line with applicable laws.

The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to paragraph 1.9 of the World Bank's Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants [under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits & Grants] by World Bank Borrowers January 2011, revised July 2014 ("Consultant Guidelines"), setting forth the World Bank's policy on conflict of interest.

Consultants may associate with other firms in the form of a joint venture or a subconsultancy to enhance their qualifications.

A Consultant will be selected in accordance with the Quality and Cost Based selection method set out in the Consultant Guidelines.

Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours Monday to Friday between 9:00AM and 5:00 PM.

Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form to the address below (in person, or by mail, or by fax, or by e-mail) by 4:00 PM (local time) on September 15, 2016.

Chief Director
Room 16, First Floor,
Ministry of Communications Building,
Ministerial Enclave, Accra
Attention: Project Coordinator
eTransform Project

Tel: +233:302685606              
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