The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has never intended to open source ASYCUDA (as the WCO recently did in June 2017 with their Cargo Targeting System). It seems clear that Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) should not be in the business of building and selling rudimentary software solutions, and donors should not be funding the development or deployment especially when there is an appearance of a kickback scheme for a select few...
We’ve prepared a series of upcoming posts over the next 1-2 weeks regarding ASYCUDA that might draw some interest and discussion. A few months ago, I had posted a blog on ASYCUDA called: “The ASYCUDA Myth Part 1: Is UNCTAD fostering a No-Bid Sole Source Contract for ASYCUDA World?” This post can be accessed here and discussed the various tactics employed by UNCTAD to secure a sole source deployment of ASYCUDA under the guise of a misleading feasibility study.
The next in the series (posted here today) is called, “The ASYCUDA Myth Part 2: United Nations Audit Reveals Collusion, and Conflicts of Interest”, and is based on the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight services (OIOS) audits in 2008 and 2012. Surprisingly, many in our community are still unaware of these reports and the internal conflicts they exposed. Personally, I only discovered them in the last year. If you are in anyway involved in trade facilitation, customs modernization, and/or capacity building in the developing world, it is very important to understand the specifics of ASYCUDA development to date and where this system is likely headed.
This blog will be followed by 2 more blogs in the next 2 weeks called,
“The ASYCUDA Myth Part 3: Where is ASYCUDA Millennium?”
“The ASYCUDA Myth Part 4: Time to Open Source.”
I hope these blogs are enjoyed and prompt much discussion to make the positive change that is desperately needed.
I'll be honest. I'm intrigued but I'm still not entirely clear on how this can be used to enhance supply chain visibility for Customs and border processing. It's also not entirely clear yet how the trading community wants to implement this and how a Customs and Other Government Agencies will want to influence (if they should at all?).
The WCO professes the CTS to be a complete, efficient, and effective solution. Based on this scorecard I’d say that’s a bit of an exaggeration and taken from the UNCTAD ASYCUDA Playbook discussed in Part 1 of the WCO CTS Myth.
They further describe it as user-friendly, simple, powerful, affordable, and sustainable. They say everything is required to implement and sustain an effective cargo manifest risk assessment solution. Like a technology vendor, they state they will provide the hardware, data assistance, training, support, maintenance. The WCO is suddenly discovering that software development can be difficult. As one example, they’ve only obtained 40% of the cargo data in some countries. That goes a long way from the full visibility needed at the border. (Maybe goods aren’t being smuggled in the other 60%?) ....
David Hamilton is an International Trade Facilitation Consultant at Xalgorithms Foundation. His latest blog provides interesting insight and compares closed and open source source options for UN developed Trade systems such as ASYCUDA World. Right now the current closed source method limits the level of participation in designing solutions ultimately meant to provide access. How can we foster this change?
Stewart Jeacocke is the Customs Leader from the IBM Center of Competence. He's promoting what is likely the best idea yet for the future of ASYCUDA and the WCO's CTS.
Through our market analysis and customer engagements, we have learned that many Customs administrations are not entirely clear on what systems are indeed available in the market, or how to compare those applications. We believe it's necessary to create a common and fair playing ground to compare the options, and TTEK is certainly prepared to be considered in any cross functional comparison. As such we've prepared a checklist to assist those customs administrations who seek a leading edge operational risk management solution. Our list includes 55 functions that you should be measuring when considering a risk management solution.
The Jamaica Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw expects to increase revenues from the Jamaica Customs Agency by up to 40 per cent with the implementation of new measures aimed at cutting down corruption and under-invoicing. He plans to hold the Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese responsible for hitting that target. First of all, that's a bit unfair. Why? Because the government is setting an expectation that 2 recent technologies funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) are going to help accomplish this, and that's likely not going to happen because....
TTEK founder Chris Thibedeau is scheduled to deliver a "Tech Talk" at the WCO IT Conference in Dakar Sengal on Thursday June 2nd, 2016. The presentation and discussion will be titled, "Optimizing Border Management Systems Through a Best in Breed Approach.”
Mr. Thibedeau will be making a compelling case on how...