Automation of C.Ex. and S.Tax project has put the departmental officers on mat to test their ability to work online that should improve their capability along with the transparency required in the governance of the department.
Knolwedgeable associates of the partners of the Department have opinions that ACES or whatever software application it is called in the current scenario or its imminent future-oriented transformation to GST, will put an end to non-transparent endeavours during preliminary proceedings before issue of demand to assessee. All findings, if duly captured without exception, into the e-Workflow of the governance may save hundreds of crores of revenue more for the CBEC or, in larger picture of findings, for the Government.
Moreover, the data-warehousing concept seeks sufficient legacy data for collecting intelligence on business transactions and monitoring on revenue, particularly meant for the TRU or DRI or DGAE. For this to happen, compulsory assignment of e-workflow to officers should be certain and there must be a strong HR and Staff Management application like Personnel Information Management (PIM) linked to the concept of 'Sevvottam' to be accepted by the Finance Ministry.
The online application should also include extensive caselaw database for the Staff for easier retrieval of analogy of information to fight the litigation or appeal proceedings. CBEC can think of integrating the database of Ex-Cus of Centax Publications or that of the Taxindiaonline.com, into the ACES application menu. This will save lot of expenditure for the Dept. in individual subscribing by field formations for the books of these caselaw publication.
If the regular workflow is diversified with these additional features (PIM, Caselaw database, etc.), the entire e-Workflow will expand to upper and lower level, unlike the current usage by only a two-tier cadre of officers. Officers will use more of the Thin Client under the ACES rather than spending the entire time on the local desktop to generate the correspondence or reports towards revenue generation.
Most important factor is that the legacy data generated by ACES should be integrated with the GST software also, irrespective of whether the old law is scrapped or all the litigations thereunder are compounded or dealt otherwise. Or else, the Data-warehousing under the new software for GST may take another 3 to 4 years to gestate and by that time the creamy side of the knowledge bank of the department may reach superannuation. It is hoped that the CBEC will take into account all these factors to make ACES or its future 'avataar' more user-friendly and a meaningful e-governance success.