A contract has been signed between the Government of Ghana and World Bank Group to assist the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) with funding support to digitize all public records of the Department.
What this entails is that all clients of the Department will be able to source all related documents electronically which aims to put a stop to the physical document system regarding registering of businesses and all related matters.
This is part of various innovative and effective measures aiming at promoting a more business-friendly operating environment – which is built on innovation, ethics and integrity. This would in turn ensure better delivery of service and remove bottlenecks associated with the processes involved in registering a business.
In 2016, the Department noted that it needed approximately US$350 million to digitize all its public records across the country, and about three years on it is possible the figure could now be higher.
The incoming World Bank assistance is expected to significantly speed up the business registration process to the benefit of businesses, and individuals alike.
Currently, it takes about three working days to finalize the processes in registering a limited liability company in Ghana and that on some occasion only becomes possible as a result of the influence of some middlemen who can fast track the process.
With digitization in place, the process is expected to take a maximum of one working day to complete the process.
Speaking with the Goldstreet Business during the second regional multi-stakeholder dialogue business integrity forum in Accra, organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in collaboration with the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Registrar General, Mrs. Jemima Oware said since the Department started automating its processes in 2005, measures have been put in place to improve the ease of doing business across all sectors of the economy.
“We have done that through technology and innovation which was meant to boost the confidence of the public in productive businesses”, she reiterated.
Poor record keeping has been a major challenge that has been identified as facing a number of both public and private institutions and businesses.
Thus, in this period of technological advancement, having a system to digitize all public records will ensure easy access and increase in productivity, resulting in better cost efficiency and enhanced information preservation.
The multi-stakeholder dialogue brought together a number of public and private sector players such as the President of the Institute of Directors, Rockson Dogbegah – who was the Chairman of the occasion, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and a host of others.
Participants deliberated on how to promote a good business environment through ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability to ensure a corruption free business environment.
It was moved that to ensure the existence of the aforementioned pillars, there was the need to discourage payment of facilitation fees by the private sector. This, according to them, was a means of institutionalizing corruption in the system.
By Dundas Whigham