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Home » News » Business » OBRS threatens jobs at CIPA

OBRS threatens jobs at CIPA

Publishing Date : 16 April, 2018

Author : TSHEPISO GABOTLHOMOLWE

As the world goes digital and man power is replaced with the power of technology and its perks, the new bill presented and approved by parliament to facilitate for the online registration of  companies by Minister of Trade Investment and Industry Bogolo Kenewedo is set to come to live towards the end of the year.


While it is not evident as to how many employees will be trained for the use of new programme, The Chief Executive Officer, Conductor Masena of CIPA explained that it is too early to state on how many staff will be utilized. The Governments of Botswana and New Zealand are said to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, in which a New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO) agreed to assist with the implementation of the online business Registration System (OBRS). The New Zealand Government will be providing the Software at no cost to CIPA, NZCO is noted to have appointed a company called Foster Moore to build the system that will reach CIPA’s specifications and requirements.


 The CIPA CEO explained that as a customer oriented organization it is in their interest to ensure that a sufficient number of employees will be deployed. This is to ensure that the turnaround target for their registration which is expected to be achieved in less than 24 hours is achieved for all customers.


 As a member of the Corporate Registers Forum (CRF) he highlights that they have had the benefit of riding off the experiences of similar sized organizations that have implemented similar systems. The CEO further highlighted that they have learnt that it is essential to re-deploy and re-train some officers to complete the back-end activities that are necessary to complete the registration process.


Out of a total of 91 employees, it is expected that some officers will remain in their current roles assisting customers that are not computer literate, whilst some may be redeployed to other related functions such as Compliance. “It is worth noting that CIPA would focus more on compliance to the Companies Act, by invoking previously less utilized provisions. This action though will need more human capital to do inspections and spot checks on companies at both their registered office and Principal place of business,” he noted.


OBRS which will be completely online will have customers performing many transactions from the comfort of their homes or businesses anywhere in the world. The online system will include but not limited to, registration of companies and business names, submission of annual returns, submission notices and changes. The new system will facilitate for Credit cards, debit cards, and mobile money services and also an engine that provides for an option to search for company information online at no cost.


The system will enable CIPA to register companies and business names in a matter of hours instead of the current 5 days. In addition to the above, the system will be integrated with Omang for verification purposes. Masena emphasizes that there will be no need for customers to certify their certificates since all certificates will be viewable online.


He added that there will absolutely be no need to visit CIPA offices for company related services, citing that they however appreciate that some customers may not have internet access, thus the provision for self-service kiosks within the now operating CIPA offices.  He added that they will in these kiosks have staff assisting those who are not computer literate.  Masena emphasized that this translates to a dramatic improvement in the ease of doing business for both local and foreign investors.


Even though there is introduction of doing the easy registrations, all companies and businesses will be expected to re-register once we roll out the system. “This will enable us to have relevant, up-to-date information on the new system – this is very important for procuring entities and any other parties that use our data to make business decisions.” As a registry, CIPA notes that it is important to assure the business community of the integrity of the data in the organization’s system.


As there will be need to re-register existing companies, CIPA has made a business decision that it will waive all overdue annual returns for companies that do re-register during the re-registration period. This though does not mean there will be no fees to be paid for re-registration he explained that the waiver is just there to encourage re-registration uptake. This is provided for in the Re registration Acts that were approved by Parliament this week.


Please note that the re-registration does not create a new legal entity as the company that re-registers shall continue to be in the register of companies; the re-registration does not affect the property, rights, or obligations of the company that existed prior to re-registration.
New companies therefore will pay for the application process while the please all companies that reregister would be exempted from payment and submission of annual returns hence a saving of P300.00 for companies that are reregistering.


It is explained that since the re-registration would be done through an online platform, companies would be able to validate the data preloaded on the system and be able to reregister at the comfort and convenience of their time, given the 12 months grace period for re-registration.

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