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New Headquarters: Inside URA’s High Performance Green Building

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is set to commission its new ultra-modern headquarters building by January 19, 2019.

President Museveni is expected to grace the ceremony in Nakawa, according to officials.

URA Ian Rumanyinka, the Manager Public and Corporate Affairs, takes us through the intricacies of the imposing structure illuminating Kampala’s skyline.

The 22-floor building, which cost the taxpayer Shs139b, is divided into four podiums and eighteen tower floors totaling to 26,021 square meters.

The development also provide for a car parking structure for 360 cars plus surface parking for 710 vehicles.

The total area of the parking structure is 12,923 square metres with five (5) levels for parking and the sixth level designed to house a crèche for breastfeeding staff , gym, Sauna, Unisex Saloon etc.

The building is designed to be Green with an Intelligent Building Management System (BMS) and other ICT Innovations, making it a high performance building. At peak in 10 years’ time, the building will accommodate up to 1,700 staff.

The construction period was 36 months and post construction defect liability period of 12 months. The project is fully funded by the Government of Uganda.

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Structural works for the main tower, parking building and conference hall is 99% completed. Final finishes works are in process.

Rumanyika says the overall objective of the Project is to provide infrastructure for better service delivery and the strategy is to have all URA back office operation in Kampala, Mukono and Entebbe converge at Nakawa in the new building.

This is expected to reduce the cost of doing business for taxpayers through provision of one-stop-service-centre and savings on rent, transport, ICT connectivity, security, courier services, for URA. It is envisaged that only tax information centres will remain operational in central Kampala and its environs after the closure of the main tax offices in Kampala East, North, Central, Entebbe and Mukono.

Benefits

It will facilitate a full integration of the back office service to support the self service business model of e-transactions, under one roof, while maintaining only tax payers’ service centres.  It is expected that URA will offer faster and better services to clients resulting from process integration while reducing administrative costs to the taxpayer and URA.

“Also, we invest to save a lot of money into rented buildings in terms of IT installations, renovations at time of vacating, minor maintenance, etc. Sometimes rent is increased and we fail to vacate due to the high costs of shifting, business interruption and investments already put into the rented building in terms of IT installations,” says Rumanyika.

The need to provide quality services at a single point reign supreme.

URA clients keep moving from premises to premises in search for URA service because of working in silos.

URA has been the only revenue administration body in the EAC Region without a befitting headquarters building. The new structure is expected to improve the URA Image and corporate branding in the public domain.

He also believes the building will improve staff productivity through provision of adequate working environment.

The tower will provide modern office facilities that support URA’s current and future work methods of different departments.

For example the building will house modern forensic and science laboratories that support Tax Investigations, Customs and Domestic Taxes operations.

Security

Rumanyika also expects improved security of vital URA computer and other records through provision of state-of-the-art and round the clock security.

URA is adopting the Green Building Concept that utilizes ICT to efficiently manage operating costs.

The automation is expected to considerably reduce the cost of energy for lifts, AC, lighting and water usage within the building in line with current and future environmental standards.

The new office building will as well contribute to considerable savings in direct operating costs such as office rent, provision of ICT infrastructure between Nakawa and different offices e.g. URA Training School along Rotary Avenue, Crested Towers, transport and fuel costs, security services at different sites and  cost of operating generators.

 

 

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