Person filing tax return forms. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

GSTN To Subscribe To A Third-Party Audit Of Its Software, CEO Says

GST Network has decided to go in for third-party audit of its software developed by Infosys Ltd. to ensure that all changes in law are adequately captured and its performance is not lagging on any count, a senior official said.

GSTN operates the information technology backbone for collection of Goods and Services Tax data of over 1.11 crore registered business entities in India. A third-party audit will ensure that data filed with GSTN is adequately secured and there are no glitches.

GST Network Chief Executive Officer Prakash Kumar said that third-party audit is a standard practice, which is followed by banking and financial institutions.

Whenever the law is changed or any circular is issued, we have to change the software. We need to have a third party to audit whatever software changes have been made by Infosys. So this is what a third-party expert audit is.
Prakash Kumar, CEO, GST Network

Also read: GSTN Designing Tools For Taxmen To Analyse Data To Check Evasion

He said that currently the GSTN team audits the software changes which are brought about after any change in law. “But we want a third-party auditor to certify that whatever changes has been brought about in the law, similarly the software has been changed, not more, not less,” Kumar said.

Last year, the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification Directorate, which is under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, had audited GSTN to check the security of the system.

The audit also encompassed other aspects like mechanism to enhance the resilience of the critical and sensitive GST IT network.

“Entire product which has been developed by Infosys it has been audited once by STQC. STQC will not audit every time. But, for all the changes that have been made I need a third-party to certify. This will be a continuous audit of what changes have been made, as per ISO requirement. Not only functional audit, but also performance audit. These would be technological auditors,” Kumar said.

Since the rollout of the GST from July 1, 2017, GSTN has handled 11.5 crore returns and processed 376 crore invoices.

Currently, over 1.11 crore businesses are registered under the GST regime, of which 63.76 lakh have migrated from the erstwhile service tax and Value Added Tax regime, and 47.72 lakh are new registrants. As many as 17.61 lakh businesses have opted for composition scheme under GST.

Also read: Conversion Of GSTN To State-Owned Entity Still A Few Months Away