Export-Import Department software not maintained

  • ICTA states set-up under its purview, not maintaintainance

By Imsha Iqbal 


The software that was developed for the licensing process of the Department of Imports and Exports has not undergone maintenance regularly following its installation, hence resulting in issues, The Morning Business learns. 

Speaking to The Morning Business, a source from ICTA, who wished to remain anonymous, stated: “Once such a system is provided, the State bodies have to maintain it”, adding that in the usual context, the IT solutions provider is not obliged to perform in this regard unless explicitly stated. 

During a meeting of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), under the chairmanship of MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna, it was stated that ICTA does not intervene or provide assistance for the Government institutions in this regard when the particular institution lacks adequate knowledge on developing the system programme, with regard to issues over the Institutional Integration Computer Program 2015 for the Import-Export Department.

However, the ICTA source stressed that the ICTA has been established to execute Government policies with regard to ICT (Information, Communication, and Technology) and digitalisation, which would include amending laws, imposing regulations, setting up new infrastructure, and developing security systems. 

The source said that the maintenance needs to be conducted by calling for another contractor or supplier, which the ICTA also finds “a gap in between”, and the source noted that this is among the typical problems experienced in such a project. 

ICTA also supports the calling for proposals for State bodies to procure support when the said State body lacks IT literacy with relation to the system they aim to establish. 

ICTA sources also observed the fact that the lack of IT literacy has been a barrier in State bodies communicating their requirements, which creates a gap between the actual requirement and the supplier’s solution. 

The source noted that the software was developed by the ICTA, but cannot be called unsuccessful because the software would not be launched ceremoniously, as it was functional at the time of launch. However, it has been dysfunctional since 2015. 

“As time progressed, I think, there have been certain issues, and according to the Department of Imports and Exports, it is no longer functional,” added the ICTA source. 

In the meantime, however, the ICTA source said that the ICTA attempted to resurrect the dysfunctional software.

Alagiyawanna said that ICTA has the responsibility of equipping Government institutions with sufficient IT capabilities and integrating them with new technology.

ICTA is expected to submit a report to COPA regarding the software it has developed for Government agencies, along with the current status of such, on 1 July.