John E.K. Sotenga

Deputy Commissioner for Operations
Internal Revenue Service, Ghana
Focus Area(s): 
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
One-stop shops
Interviewers: 
David Hausman
Country of Reform: 
Ghana
Town/City: 
Accra
Place (Building/Street): 
IRS head office
Country: 
Ghana
Date of Interview: 
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Abstract 

John E.K. Sotenga discusses his long experience in Ghana's Internal Revenue Service and the gradual improvements that were made in capacity. He focuses on the challenges of reorganizing tax administration along functional lines. As the first director of Ghana’s Large Taxpayers Unit, a one-stop shop for large taxpayers, Sotenga encountered the difficulties of integrating staff from three separate agencies: the IRS, the customs agency, and the value-added tax agency. He stresses the importance of placing employees from the three different agencies in groups together on specific tasks, thereby allowing them to gradually transfer their skills to one another.

Case Study: Professionalization, Decentralization, and a One-Stop Shop: Tax Collection Reform in Ghana, 1986-2008

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Full Interview: 
66.5MB
John E.K. Sotenga Interview
Profile: 

At the time of this interview, Mr. Sotenga was deputy commissioner for operations at Ghana's Internal Revenue Service.  He joined the Ghanaian Central Revenue Department in 1978 as an assistant inspector and moved up through the ranks, first becoming chief inspector, then heading several regional tax offices. In Accra, he directed first the Large Taxpayers Office—a division of the IRS created in 1996—and later the Large Taxpayers Unit, a one-stop shop that allowed large taxpayers to pay all taxes at one central location.

Language: 
English
Nationality of Interviewee: 
Ghanaian
Yes
John E.K. Sotenga
P
6
Keywords 
training
recruitment
Pay Reform
Merit Pay
Decentralization
Capacity building