Sars runner-up in global software award

The South African Revenue Service (Sars), competing against more than 400 applicants around the globe, has been awarded a silver medal in innovative technology at the annual Adobe Max Awards in North America.

“We were very thrilled. To get international recognition of this kind by a huge technology company like Adobe is really exciting for Sars,” said senior manager for marketing Marco Granelli in a statement on Wednesday. The prize-giving ceremony took place in San Francisco on Tuesday night.

Sars’ newly developed [email protected] software application was honoured by computer software company Adobe for innovative use of its software under the theme “to the max”.

Barry Hore, Sars chief officer for modernisation and technology who attended the event, said it provided the service the chance to showcase the software on a global stage to thousands of software developers from around the world.

It had also shown that South Africa was among the leading revenue administrations in the world in its use of technology to help provide exceptional service.

He said the [email protected] suite had competed with distinction against major international organisations including Nasdaq, the US stock exchange, which won the gold medal.

Granelli said the [email protected] suite of software, based on Adobe Integrated Runtime technology and developed by Interfile, allowed users to interact electronically with Sars via eFiling with only minimal internet connectivity.

“Essentially it provides all the functionality and ease of eFiling on a user’s desktop without the need to be online,” said Granelli.

This had cost and time benefits for both Sars and its clients.

In the month since the launch of [email protected] for tax practitioners—July 2008—there had been more than 12 000 downloads of the software from the web. More than 5 000 discs had been handed out at workshops and posted to practitioners who pre-ordered the software.

Granelli said already more than 400 000 taxpayer files had been downloaded on to practitioners’ desktops using [email protected]

“We are very, very excited to get recognition for the hard work we’ve been putting into this along with our software development partners,” he said.

Sars was also a finalist in the Adobe Max Europe Awards, which would be announced in Italy on December 2.—Sapa

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