CITs to monitor tax men authorised to access ITIT

ISLAMABAD (February 10 2004): The Commissioners of Income Tax (CITs) will strictly monitor the tax officials authorised to access the Integrated Tax Information System (ITIT) carrying all the information pertaining to persons liable to registration with the tax department.

Official sources told Business Recorder here on Monday that there are no chances of any misuse of information due to the highly sophisticated computer programme.

The commissioner will have the authority to question the concerned tax officials about the number of times he has retrieved the information and for what purpose the system was reactivated.

Even for one time access to system, Inspecting Additional Commissioners (IACs) would have to go through computer security mechanism recording all the 'strikes' made on the ITIT computers.

Strict monitoring at the highest level will play an important role in eliminating any chances of misuse by the tax officials. Moreover, only selected officials would have the passwords to access the system, which gives no room to the staff for breaching the system security.

Sources said that the commissioners could also ask the concerned tax official why he used the information without prior approval from the concerned authorities.

Secondly, the system has been successfully transformed from manual to computer processing through latest software. It also eliminates chances of manual operating for minimising repeated access by the officers.

The CBR has taken several measures to ensure security of the system. These encompass users' authentication, maintenance of extracted information and administration of security through regional offices.

If any one wants access to the information, he requires certain code to login the system. Once the information is retrieved, ITIT would automatically record the name of user, time of retrieving information and what type of information is accessed by the concerned officer, he added.

The CBR has taken all necessary precautions that the data could not be used for blackmailing any person as only Inspecting Additional Commissioners (IACs) would have access to the information for specific use. Once the person has got NTN number, the CBR would not further utilise information available with the ITIT regarding any taxpayer.

The system has the ability to identify non-filers and under-reporting and contain over 15 million entries or data separately maintained.

This system would also help the tax officials in future forecasting of growth in tax revenue, provide information and assist tax administration.

The ITIT system when used for tax audit would help in data matching, identification of mis-reporting, verification of tax receipts and prompt processing of refunds.

Sources added, “the system is 100 percent secure and there is no need to be scared about the misuse of information retrieved from the system”.

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