Acknowledgment”All praise to Almighty Allah, who guide us in darkness and help us in difficulties and due respect to our beloved Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) who enable us to recognize our creator.”
Firstly, we would like to thanks Almighty Allah who gave us strength to complete challenging task & His blessings that He provided us confidence, guidance & strength to complete the task.
We are Thankful to Chairman Dr. Raheel Siddiqui, Punjab Revenue Authority for taking such an initiative of Internship Program and arranging all the interactive sessions and visits that helped us a lot to understand the perspective of PRA & other Public Sector divisions. We are highly obliged to Mr Javed Ahmed, Member Operations, PRA for providing us a platform to prove our skills and abilities. And the guidance of Mr Zain Sahi, Member Policy, we were able to nurture our capabilities of critical thinking and analysis.
We also want to thank Mr. Salman Zafar, Director IT of Punjab Revenue Authority, as well as our resource person in this project, and without his guidance, it’d a troublesome to accomplish this task.
Writing such report on a practical issue appeared to be a great experience for us. It added a lot to our knowledge. Completion of this report was not an easy task, but required continuous hard work and an intense devotion for learning something new, it is completed because of all the PRA management and sessions organized, that supported and guided us just from the very beginning of this report and also cooperation of our group members as well. PRA gave us such an opportunity to have an exposure to practical life and experience of real life scenario by solving this case study that enhanced our vision of Public Sector as well.
Table of Content
TOC o “1-1” h z u Acknowledgment PAGEREF _Toc521315690 h iiAbstract Summary PAGEREF _Toc521315691 h 1What is Innovation? PAGEREF _Toc521315692 h 2Five Key Reasons: Public Sector needs to Innovate PAGEREF _Toc521315693 h 2Factors and Barriers for Innovation in Public Sector PAGEREF _Toc521315694 h 3Cultural Barriers PAGEREF _Toc521315695 h 5Structural Barriers PAGEREF _Toc521315696 h 5Creating Government Architectures for Innovation PAGEREF _Toc521315697 h 6Building Capabilities and Motivation to Innovate PAGEREF _Toc521315698 h 9Role of HRM in Innovation PAGEREF _Toc521315699 h 11Budgeting For Innovation PAGEREF _Toc521315700 h 13Office Branding PAGEREF _Toc521315701 h 14Tax Payer Facilitation Centre at PRA PAGEREF _Toc521315702 h 15Difference between Developed Countries and PRA Pakistan PAGEREF _Toc521315703 h 16Tax Clinic Methodology PAGEREF _Toc521315704 h 17Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc521315705 h 18References PAGEREF _Toc521315706 h 19
Abstract SummaryThis study analyses and examines in detail that how public sector can innovate and the impact of public sector innovation to improve public satisfaction level, it is about changing the traditional government into a more integrated and efficient one. Innovation is actually the engine of economic growth. Innovation in the public sector is an under-researched area. It deals with governance, political and human issues which are very difficult to solve. Since much of the topic and studies on innovation are focusing on the private sector, it is the aim of this study to analyze the process of innovation in Public Sectors. This research has also inculcated the need of innovation in public sector as well as the barriers faced by this sector as well.
HR leaders need to understand the critical importance of innovation today and how to contribute to your organization’s Innovation mandate by attracting and keeping the most innovative people, constantly improving their skills and creating a culture of innovation. Branded workplace is also a good tool for giving your partners and employees some theatrical experience, making them feel the essence of public sector. Building brand awareness by showcasing your vision and values workplace or an office space of a company says quite a lot about that business organization, who and what it is, what it stands for, and it gives visitors a better picture of its quality as a whole structured organization.
Comparing the tax facilitation portal of PRA with other developed countries things came out that technically the e-PRA venture is up-to-date with that being offered around the world. It has all the functions that could be found at the website of any developed country. However there are some deficiencies which are explained briefly in the report. To get the clients on same page, PRA came up with an idea of “Tax Clinic”. A particular sector is invited on a specific day and they are educated about their relevant service and its importance. This created a platform for that sector to have their issues addressed directly and collectively.
Fostering Innovation in the Public Sector
What is Innovation?Many organizations struggle to define innovation and lack a strategic approach for generating, capturing and implementing innovative ideas.
Innovation is the art of making hard things easy. It is a collaborative, structured process that involves different parts of the organization and outside partners creating and exploiting new opportunities and finding new ways to solve complex problems.
The sole action of generating ideas is not innovating. An idea only becomes an innovation when it has been implemented in a form that generates value. Innovation is no longer just a buzzword or any form of imaginative creation of mind. It is now seen as a potential solution to all problems and has become ubiquitous in both the private and public sectors.
In the private sector, the need to be innovative has an obvious driver: staying ahead of the competition and delivering products and services that will increase market share and drive shareholder value. The case for innovation in the public sector, however, is less well defined but has many similarities. As governments strive to balance priorities — including the effective allocation of resources and meeting public expectations — it is becoming increasingly clear that new approaches are needed. Governments will have to innovate and find ways to make difficult things easy in the areas of service delivery, process improvement, regulation and policy implementation.
Five Key Reasons: Public Sector needs to InnovateOptimal Resource Allocation
Innovation can enable governments to fulfil their duty to citizens while using each rupee prudently. Many governments rely on more traditional approaches to ration services among citizens, such as means testing and other similar processes. Governments need to reinvent themselves to meet higher expectations with scarce public investment.
Through smart regulation and by being an early customer, the public sector has a role to play in enabling innovation in the real economy. Jurisdictions that embrace this role will take the lead in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). A public sector that is able to keep up with industry innovation and be early adopters of new products and technologies will support the competitive edge of jurisdictions.
Knowledge is being created and put to use faster than ever before and the public’s expectation is that government should keep pace. While the competition incentive does not exist in the public sector, there is a very real need to keep pace with private sector innovation. Citizens will increasingly judge governments based on the gap between the ease of doing business with the private sector versus the public sector.
Talent Retention and Attraction
Engaging work and leading-edge opportunities will be the biggest attractor of millennial talent; the public sector has an opportunity to compete for the best talent in a way they can’t when compensation is the only driver.Studies show that providing engaging work and leading-edge opportunities are key drivers for millennials when they’re looking for work, ranking even higher than compensation.
Enabling the Private Sector
Stretch targets embedded in legislation or regulation can push industry to innovate and meet goals that it might not otherwise have aimed for. In the context of highly regulated sectors like oil and gas, mining, power and utilities, and pharmaceuticals, legislation and regulation can set what might seem like stretch or unrealistic targets that force private sector organizations to rethink how they do things and ultimately innovate to meet those targets.
Millennials are strongly drawn to the “anything is possible” spirit of entrepreneurship… companies that embrace a risk-tolerant culture and promote learning and experimentation will benefit from the heightened energy around innovation.
Factors and Barriers for Innovation in Public SectorPublic sector innovation does not happen by itself: problems need to be identified and ideas translated into projects which can be piloted on a small scale and then implemented and diffused. This requires public sector organizations to identify the processes and structures which can support and accelerate the innovation activity at each stage of its lifecycle but at every step there stands some barriers that need to be seen as well to come up with the right idea.
Lack of Diversity
This often shows up in corporate hiring practices and excludes great candidates due to elements including age, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. In addition to the inherent diversity that people are born with, companies may also discriminate against acquired diversity where people’s prior employers and countries of work experience may be counted against them as well. The issue with lack of diversity is that it’s a proven obstacle to innovation. Organization should have an all-inclusive mentality.
Budget and recourses is one of the factors that impede innovation. Innovation does not magically form by saying a few choice words like ‘We must be more innovative to be competitive’. Unless innovation is invested in it will not work and thus needs material to work with whether it is time, freedom, skills or systems. Creating the future requires an appropriate amount of today’s resources.
Anarchy on a project does not boost creativity; it is indeed the least cost effective method of catering for innovative breakthroughs. Focusing the freedom of creativity with in a well-designed and defined company strategy, both narrow enough to showcase the company’s competency whilst being broad enough to allow for exploitation.
Most of the organizations lack the basic training needed for the employees and if we talk about being innovative the organizations lack the professional training. Like anything else the workers in an innovative organization need specific training to integrate into a team
406717595250Most of the public organizations maintain the status quo and are not open to new ideas and are not very welcoming when it comes to new ideas. Even if the team generates the ideas the organization will not be innovative if it lacks the drive and interest to implement them. The public sector lacks an effective system that captures ideas and engages people in developing, modifying, enlarging and evaluating the ideas and all this critical to innovation.
The ideal work process focuses people on the right challenges and leads them through an organized process of releasing creativity and evaluating results so that the right concepts move into the implementation process but public sectors lack all such brainstorming sessions which fails to produce a focused system and does not produce the bottom-line results that are required.
Failure to identify problems:
Public sector organizations often lack the capacity to identify risks and opportunities coming from their environment and to effectively capture and interpret demand from the users. Understanding the nature and characteristics of a problem is a first step towards triggering innovative ideas to respond to it.
Cultural BarriersOrganizational cultures may either not value innovation – there is not an explicit statement of reward for innovation – or accountability for failure may be discouraging employees taking risks. The rewards for innovation may be much smaller than the sanctions for trying and failing
Accountability for failure
When it comes to failure the process of accountability discourages people and due to that reason when people are strictly treated upon taking risk and getting scolded for it this attitude results in being less innovating and taking lesser risks to face less discouragement
Lack of incentives and rewards
Supporting the creation of ideas often involves providing the right level of incentives and rewards, creating opportunities to share experiences, and ensuring public servants’ mobility to support a broad understanding of issues and the tools to respond to them. For many public sector leaders, the rewards on offer from successful innovation are low, even if the innovation could create huge gains for the public sector and citizens as a whole, while the impact of failure can be significantly higher. This can be a major burden to innovation.
Structural BarriersInternal regulations and procedures are often mentioned as one of the main barriers to innovation. Part of the frustration seems to be caused by the perception that the rules have no other purpose than to preserve the status quo.
Rules often seem to specify means – “Employees can or cannot do this or that” – rather than ends – “We want to make sure / avoid that this or that happens”. If opportunities to accomplish the same goals more effectively or efficiently present themselves, means-oriented rules become obstacles.
Opportunities to improve the public sector are often impeded by bureaucratic obstacles that no longer adequately serve the purpose for which they were designed. Rigid application of obsolete rules and a lack of will to change the status quo stifle the production of public value through innovation.
There is an elaborate, hierarchical authority system within each bureaucracy that assigns duties to every official, so that the means of control depends on obedience to higher levels of authority which might inhibit bottom-up innovation. The control function of hierarchy has the effect of discouraging people working in the frontline from coming up with approaches they think would be an improvement. This could mean frontline employees are less likely to step forward with their ideas because they anticipate not being heard.
Arbitrary rules and regulations create barriers to innovation. The “we’ve always done it this way” or “the regulators won’t let us do this because there’s these special rules” mindset is a significant barrier to innovation. Many of these rules and regulations can be changed because they are self-imposed, internal policies.
Some red tape really and truly cannot be removed, particularly when it comes to regulations. However, it is fair to say that ideas more often than never considered because of red tape far earlier than is needed. Perhaps the idea won’t work in the exactly way that it is initially presented, but with adjustments, it could make a big difference. Sometimes the seemingly impossible needs to be entertained until it have been given its fair consideration.
Creating Government Architectures for InnovationThis portion looks at how governments can use the state architecture at their disposal to create an environment that supports innovation. Creating innovative government is by no means an exact science and to that end, this portion aims to add evidence and analysis in support of government actions. It fleshes out some of the relevant considerations for government who is seeking to promote innovation and, provides suggestions as to how governments may wish to organize their operations to optimize the opportunities for innovation.
The Innovation Imperative: A call for Action
Action 1: People Matter – Governments must invest in the capacity and capability of civil servants as the catalysts of innovation. This includes building the culture, incentives and norms to facilitate new ways of working.
Action 2: Knowledge is Power – Governments must facilitate the free flow of information, data and knowledge across the public sector and use it to respond creatively to new challenges and opportunities.
Action 3: Working Together Solves Problems – Governance must advance new organizational structures and leverage partnerships to enhance approaches and tools, share risks and harness available information and resources for innovation.
Action 4: Rules And Process to Support Not Hinder – Government must ensure that internal rules and processes are balanced in their capacity to mitigate risks while protecting resources and enabling innovation.
Rules, Procedures and Regulations
Public servants often perceive rules, procedures and regulations to be constraining their capacity to innovate. Yet there is relatively limited evidence that rules and procedures are actually blocking innovation. Yet there is relatively limited evidence that rules and procedures are actually blocking innovation. However those governments which have explored this area, for example the Australian government, found that it was not necessarily the internal regulations themselves that were blocking innovation but rather a poor understanding of those rules by public servants, leading to a perception that they did not allow innovation (Australian Government, 2010). This highlights the importance of understanding what dynamics are at play between public sector rules, processes and regulations, civil servants’ perceptions, and innovation. The central question is whether it is actually the rules, processes and procedures which are constraining innovation, or their interpretation in the public sector.
Human Resources Management
People are at the center of innovation, and their commitment and determination drives every stage of the innovation process. Research shows that innovations are born from ideas that come from staff at all levels of an organization. Frontline staff and middle managers who interact with clients and put policies into practice often have the best understanding of the need to innovate.
Recognizing that human factors are core to innovation raises questions about human resources (HR) policies and practices and their role in supporting innovation. For example, training and development programs can develop creative thinking as a professional competency, and performance evaluation and management could either encourage or discourage innovative thinking and actions by focusing on desired outcomes rather than compliance with processes.
Individual employees do not innovate in a vacuum, but instead within an organizational culture which may support or hinder innovation. Factors that might shape this include leadership practices, diversity (cultural, age, gender, backgrounds and educational levels, etc.) in the workplace, alignment of organizational and individual values, and active management to strengthen employee engagement.
Given the inherent uncertainty involved in innovating, investments may need to be more flexible than funding for day-to-day activities. Other aspects of budget processes and financial management procedures may serve to either encourage or discourage innovation.
During such difficult financial times, efficiency-focused innovation becomes even more important but incentives to innovate or to put innovation into practice may change drastically depending on whether the savings are reinvested within the organization or are harvested for deficit reduction.
Partnerships are another area where budget policies may support or hinder innovation. Breaking down departmental silos has been shown to be instrumental in supporting innovation, but public sector financial accountability structures are often departmentally focused, which can make it challenging to fund collaborative innovation networks.
The capacity of the public sector to innovate also depends on the quality and effectiveness of the institutional arrangements supporting innovation. These arrangements may include institutionalizing innovation in governments’ mandate (such as a specific public sector innovation portfolio) and the articulation of formal responsibilities (such as dedicated organizations tasked with the promotion of innovation or “shared” responsibility models).
63% of organizations surveyed either have no defined decision-making process and framework or one that is partially defined but not implemented.
Such partnerships can lead to the development of innovative institutional arrangements, entities and governance approaches. For example, Denmark’s MindLab is a cross-ministerial entity that works with services users, public sector organizations and companies to co-design and prototype innovative solutions for public services. Such arrangements can help pool both competencies and risk.
Managing Risk and Uncertainty
Given all of the challenges described in this portion, public sector innovation may benefit from specific approaches to risk management to ensure that innovative projects are able to monitor risks and correct course early, avoid unnecessary failure and minimize potential negative impacts.
For example, piloting the initial concept of the Canadian Open Policy Development highlighted barriers such as cultural discomfort with change and lack of technological skills. Identifying these barriers enabled the development of solutions, such as voluntary training in ministries on new technologies, and the emergence of staff “champions” to guide change.
The availability of accurate, timely performance information is important to support the innovative capacity of organizations so that they can identify areas that require innovation, and learn from their successes and failures. “Learning organizations” are capable of collecting the right information and using it to innovate in response to changes in their environments. This is a key element of the public sector innovation cycle.
Create clear processes for knowledge gathering and dissemination, idea generation, prototyping and development, and implementation.
Academic research and a variety of cases in the OPSI database highlight the limit of competition as a means of sourcing and replicating innovations and that sharing of information across organizational boundaries is a key enabler of the success and replication of innovations. Traditional hierarchical bureaucracies often have limited horizontal flows of information due to rigid regulations and incompatible information management practices or good old fashioned inter-organizational rivalries and competition.
Building Capabilities and Motivation to InnovateTo help governments optimize their structures and functions to best support innovation it is important not only to consider the government functions which can affect the promotion of innovation but also how and in what ways they shape the environment for innovation. A useful starting point is to consider how and where innovation may originate, and the different institutional structures it must pass through before it becomes an implemented reality. Broadly speaking, the relevant units of analysis include individual members of staff, the teams that they work in, the units where their teams sit, the organization where they work, and the whole of the public administration. Each of these units can be more or less innovative, both by generating innovative ideas and initiating innovation, and by creating an environment that supports (or hinders) innovations originating from elsewhere in the public sector.
The degree of “innovativeness” at one level strongly influences innovation at the other levels, not necessarily in a linear relationship.
What explains the innovativeness at different levels? These factors shape whether the public sector innovates or not:
Capability to innovate, essentially whether the relevant level is able to innovate;
Motivation to innovate, whether the unit wants to innovate;
Opportunity to innovate, whether the enabling conditions are there to innovate.
Capability to innovate is shaped by resources, skills, knowledge and space to innovate; Motivation is shaped by incentives, values, leadership and behavior; and Opportunity is shaped by creativity, autonomy and collaboration.
The government functions discussed above shape the public sector’s capability and motivation to innovate. Although they are discussed separately in this section, these levers are rarely used in isolation but are often combined to achieve synergies and greater impact, for example combining prizes or awards with the provision of seed funds.
How government functions influence the capability and motivation to innovate
Capability to Innovate Motivation to Innovate
Regulation Are rules, processes and procedures blocking innovation?
Are hierarchy and bureaucratic conventions impeding innovation? Will challenging accepted practices be beneficial?
Budgeting Funds for piloting and scaling up Flexibility to move resources What happens to innovation dividends?
How is innovation prioritized in budget allocation?
Human Resources Discretion
Professional and competency development
Leadership support Is there a system of rewards in place?
Are innovation efforts systematically recognized? Is innovation included as criteria for career progression?
Organizations Space to experiment
Funds for investment
Developing skills for innovation Support for using new techniques and methodologies Is innovation a recognized priority?
Are there fora to share and recognize success?
Risk Knowledge of processes to manage risk and uncertainty
Availability of required resources (skills and financial) for innovation to happen How is innovation valued e.g. is there a recognize mandate for innovation?
Role of HRM in InnovationMany of us have had great ideas or visions. But our dilemma is really: What do we do with them? In our HR management role, how do we get more ideas and visions from all employees? And how do we turn these into reality? Too often we think of innovation as the responsibility of a product team or a business unit. Innovation springs from the minds of creative individuals working in an environment that spawns and encourages innovation.
HR leaders need to understand the critical importance of innovation today and how to contribute to your organization’s Innovation mandate by attracting and keeping the most innovative people, constantly improving their skills and creating a culture of innovation. This will enable your organization to differentiate itself. These are a part of the role of HR.
The Impact of HR on Innovation
“Dave Ulrich, professor of business at the University of Michigan, has long argued that HR leaders should assume a more vital, strategic role inside their companies, rather than merely keeping busy with everyday stuff like: policies, payroll, and picnics. Ulrich says that HR leaders should strive to build and strengthen the unique set of organizational capabilities that give an organization its competitive advantage. In essence, this means developing a particular mix of resources, processes and values that makes it hard for rivals to match what your organization does.
IBM completed a survey of global HR leaders in 2011. The results showed an agreement among Human Resource leaders that driving creativity and innovation is their number one business challenge, yet only 50% of these HR executives indicated that they are doing anything about it.
Similarly, while a majority of 70 percent said HR plays a significant or somewhat significant role in fostering innovation at their organizations, 71 percent said they don’t use any screening tools designed to bring in creative and innovative candidates. Additionally, 53 percent don’t tie performance-management systems to driving innovation and 53 percent don’t even have a formalized suggestion system in place.
According to Susan Meisinger, former President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, “The takeaway for me in all this is we all think these things matter, but most of us are not doing something about it.” Secondly, she adds, “It is difficult; if it were easy, we’d all be doing it.”
There are 3 things that HR Professionals can do to foster innovation:
Hire for innovation
Create a culture of innovation
Train and reward for innovation
1. Hire for Innovation:
Hiring for innovation requires that we identify people who can “think outside the box.” Let’s not assume that everyone is equally innovative, but instead let’s recruit people for their innovation capabilities. Are they inquisitive? Are they locked into one viewpoint or willing to consider others? Are they open to new ideas, new concepts? These questions have a lot to do with how people are recruited and how their skills are improved to welcome innovation.
Seth Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, advises, “You must have people with that hunger to always learn, who are always open and who think about things in a different way.”
The example of a culture that drives innovation is Apple. What makes Apple so unique and competitive is that on top of their great products, they also seem to have a great culture, and it’s this culture that drives their innovation, and hence their superior products.
Today, Apple has about 35,000 permanent employees, yet continues to retain a culture of innovation through their HR practices. They hire, reward and recognize employees for a common desire, energy and enthusiasm to create great products. They encourage employees not to be afraid to fail. There is no punishment for this.
2. Create a Culture for Innovation
The ability to help create, protect and build organizational culture is a critical role for HR to play, as it is a major driver for innovation. However, management needs to support, plan for and nurture an innovation culture for innovation to be successful.
An Unsupportive Culture is the Number One Obstacle to Innovation. An IBM Global CEO study in 2008 cited an unsupportive culture as the number one obstacle to innovation. Organizations that have a culture that supports innovation are often customer focused, value-driven and strategic. They ensure that their operating strategies are developed through interactions with their: employees, customers, partners, vendors, suppliers and consultants. They review market trends and identify, through benchmarking, what is required to out-perform their competition.The most powerful force in business is culture. While corporate culture is not necessarily the responsibility of HR leaders, the people who are hired and the training and cultural imperatives placed on the business are done so through the role of HR, so HR leaders can have a big impact.
3. Train Leaders to Ask Staff
As management you should be asking all employees, “What are you working on? What is the potential, the applications this might have in the future? What are your challenges? How can I help? How might people use it?” Such questions will engage employees to become actively involved in innovation rather than asking the traditional questions which impose a time constraint.
Budgeting For InnovationWhen it comes to Innovation budget planning (and R&D), it’s typically a laborious process that spans several months with business model canvases, business cases, proposals and pipeline discussions. As Forbes magazine mentioned in an article last year “The presumption is that R;D spending is somehow connected to increased innovation, revenue growth and profits. A focus on R;D spending might be a good way to gauge best practice within an industry, but it is not a measure of how innovative any company is. Having a great R;D process and achieving market success with the technologies we invent are two different things.” Nonetheless, budgets are the fact of corporate world and must be developed. Here are some things to consider that are out of the norm.
Expenditure on R&D projects is rarely confined to one fiscal year and it can be several years before a new product is finally manufactured. By breaking down the R&D budget into product-related investment streams, the link between revenue growth and R&D spend can be modeled. We did this using a two-page business case approach. As each business case is developed make sure it includes marketing costs for product commercialization. Many times, R&D departments leave this out but I feel it’s an important element of the total cost of product development to market. If you’re presenting this to senior management. They will appreciate that you’ve factored in commercialization. Last keep in mind that there’s a high likelihood that you may have either under or overestimated. So, keep it realistic. It’s a good idea to build in some contingencies with a realistic percentage. To validate your budget assumptions, include the total addressable market for this solution. Many corporations require profit and growth assumptions with each business case to validate go vs. no/go decisions. This is not atypical but we are now at a stage in innovation where big change is coming and it’s coming swiftly and from disparate directions.
Block chain? Internet of Things? Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning? Quantum Computing? Precision Medicine? Does this threaten our business? Sure, it does. Can you answer that your corporation has looked at these and where your goods and services fit into the future of these outside forces that can’t be stopped? How does this fit into your corporate strategy? What are you doing differently? As we prepare for the future how the job to be done affect your customers? Make sure you’ve factored the future in your R&D budget.
The 80/20 rule applies to innovation as well. Why can’t we change this? R&D labs traditionally focus on solving for technical risk only. Technical risk is about whether a company can create new technologies and make them work. In contrast, market risk is about whether customers will buy and use the product, even if the technology works. Innovation needs to solve for both. Embrace the external ecosystem when innovating. It is rare in these days, that your R&D Innovation efforts use no external resources but, most R&D labs have an insular focus. As you build your project’s business case, make sure your budget considers possible outside collaboration costs, experts and costs associated with integrating the legal, technological and IP ownership complexities of such an alliance. Outside collaboration and partnership can future complicate your budget especially in corporations where IP is coveted? Picking the right tools to protect your company is very important.
Office BrandingModern offices are much different than what business offices looked like a decade ago. In general, this is a very good thing, as there are many attitudes and work practices changing each day, alongside the design of office spaces. Microsoft, Facebook and Google have led the way by designing amazing offices, including play areas by implementing slides, and some have even included indoor farms. They took this matter to a whole new level, mixing the concepts of socializing and working together in a group.
Even though the majority of smaller business organizations that have much less resources can only dream about implementing similar office designs, their flexible and “free” style of company management and organization is taking its toll and they are starting to realize that there are many options for designing a modern office that will be functional, comfortable, and representable of their brands.
Building brand awareness by showcasing your vision and values workplace or an office space of a company says quite a lot about that business organization, who and what it is, what it stands for, and it gives visitors a better picture of its quality as a whole structured organization.
Branded workplace is also a good tool for giving your partners and employees some theatrical experience, making them feel the essence of your company.
Naturally, it’s not as simple as putting your company logo and brand name on your office walls. It goes much deeper, by reflecting the character and personality of your brand throughout your whole workplace, including wallpapers, chairs, cups of coffee and tea, and desks.
By complementing both your offline image, online image and your headquarters environment, you will be able to communicate your messages more efficiently and gain a far bigger level of trust with your customers, clients and partners.
Similarly to how supermarkets or big retailers like to design their respectable stores in such a fashion as to encourage consumers to spend as much money as possible in them, the design of your office should also embrace this concept, but in a much more subtle way; to show that you are a reliable business that can be trusted both for cooperating and for providing quality services.
Each and every room should have your brand incorporated so that people don’t forget where they are. Of course, try not to overdo it, because people don’t like others stuffing something in their faces. All of your employees, partners and clients will appreciate the effort and time you put in into designing your office. They will realize just how much you value them and will be more open to cooperating honestly with you.
Tax Payer Facilitation Centre at PRAPunjab Revenue Authority has progressed a lot in past six years. One of its achievements so far includes providing the users with an electronic platform that can facilitate them with easy tax filing. In order to do that they have made a website https://e.pra.punjab.gov.pk/Tax Payer Facilitation Portal
This website has a user guide in the very beginning of the front page which links you to all the problems that any beginner would face and how to solve them containing the relevant user manuals.
A tab of downloads is also provided which contains all the legal documents from the constitution that pertinent a taxpayer to pay their respective taxes.
You can also find FAQ’s on the front page to cater the needs of all those with various questions regarding PRA and taxes.
The website also has a tax calendar which helps the taxpayers remember the dates of their tax filling.
In order to file your taxes, one needs a National Taxation Number which is issued by the Federal Board of Revenue. After that a person or a business can register themselves with PRA online. If you do not have a NTN number you can register for one on PRA’s website as well. In order to file your taxes you should be registered with FBR and simultaneously with PRA.
After your registration you will get a user ID and a password which will connect to your account. Here you can file your monthly tax returns and keep a record of all your tax return files. This has eased the hassle one has to face by personally going to the offices of PRA and manually filing their taxes.
PRA has provided with a list of all active tax payers to facilitate the public. You can check which company pays their taxes and wouldn’t cause a discrepancy to you if you are thinking about doing business with them
In case anyone is facing issues with any of the online method, PRA has facilitated its clients with online support system which can get you through the whole process easily.
A call center is built in the operations building of PRA which has employees help clients with their registration or filling through call so that they wouldn’t have to come in case they face any difficulty.
If any client doesn’t get how to use the online system, he can visit the office at any time and a personal representative will help them understand the online process. They will also register the client and show them how to do the filling every month.
Mobile Registration Unit
As Punjab has many areas which are still not up-to-dated with modern knowledge so PRA has introduced a mobile registration unit for them. Through this PRA officers can go to an area and do multiple registration there and help the people.
Difference between Developed Countries and PRA PakistanComparing the tax facilitation portal of PRA with other developed countries we have come to the conclusion that technically the e-PRA venture is up-to-date with that being offered around the world. It has all the functions that could be found at the website of any developed country.
One difference that we saw was that PRA needs to make its interface more attractive. Currently it is working on just a two color theme but a little more appealing website draws more attention, especially when you are filling tax return at the end of the day.
Looking at the website of Canada Revenue Agency, they have added the feature of online reporting a “Suspected Tax Cheating” which is a good initiative to catch the culprits. Moreover, the identity of the informant will remain anonymous. In country like ours where people know about the culprits of tax cheating but won’t come forward because of being bashed by the society for ruling out one of their own this kind of initiative which will keep them anonymous will be a good one.
Australian Taxation Office has their website maintenance schedule on display for the ease of people. This would work greatly in the favor of PRA and its clients as they would know when and why the server was down and not call the office and complain.
Australian Taxation Office has a corporate plan on their website similarly the State Administration of Taxation of the People’s Republic of China has their achieved milestones displayed on their website. This makes not only the general public but also the world know what the organization has achieved so far. Displaying something like this would help PRA and its clients know the achievements of PRA and develop more trust in them.
Tax Clinic MethodologyThe purpose to introduce Punjab Revenue Authority in 2012 was that Punjab could collect its own taxes specifically the sales tax on services. Currently there are sixty-two services on which this tax is implacable. These taxes have always been present in the law but people have been unaware of them for so long that now accepting them is a difficult task. In order to collect the relevant tax PRA must first educate the people with why these taxes are important and get them all on the same page.
To get the clients on same page, PRA came up with an idea of “Tax Clinic”. A particular sector is invited on a specific day and they are educated about their relevant service and its importance. This created a platform for that sector to have their issues addressed directly and collectively.
ReferencesPublic sector innovation from ideas to actionshttps://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-innovation-public-sector-en/$FILE/EY-innovation-public-sector-en.pdf
Fostering innovation and entrepreneurialism in public sector
OECD (2017), Fostering Innovation in the Public Sector, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264270879-en
OECD (2015), The Innovation Imperative in the Public Sector: Setting an Agenda for Action, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264236561-en
OECD (2011), Together for Better Public Services – Partnering with Citizens and Civil Society, OECD Publishing, Paris.http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264118843-en
Gallup Organization (2011), Inn barometer 2010. Analytical Report: Innovation in Public Administration, Flash Eurobarometer, European Commission.
Australian Government (2010), Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service, Management Advisory Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, Barton, Australia, http://innovation.govspace.gov.au/barriers/.