Registrar Gets $80,000 Computer System
First phase of massive network; start of Government's e-commerce plans
As the Government moves one step closer to establishing itself as a centre of e-commerce, an $80,000 Registered Agent Information System for the Registrar General's Department was launched Tuesday.
It marked the first phase of a massive computerisation process expected to be completed within two years.
This new system involves enabling registered agents, that is, those duly licensed entities either under the Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act or the Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act, to incorporate international business companies, file the relevant memorandum and articles online and take advantage of a range of other services electronically, via the Internet, in a secure and reliable environment.
As of Wednesday, any licensed agent with up-to-date fees would have been able to access the companies register and perform any of the following functions - name reservations, inquires and reports, financial processing, e-docs and certificates, file downloads, file maintenance.
However, agents will need to have money on account in order to file electronic documents.
The second phase shall be offering these same services in Freeport. The subsequent phases shall entail the complete digitisation of the Department of the Registrar General.
During a launching ceremony held at the department, Minister of Financial Services and Investments, Allyson Maynard-Gibson noted that the department, along with its consultant IBM, has been involved in testing the new system with a number of registered agents over the last six weeks.
"We are pleased to report that the satisfaction level from the test group is 100 per cent, giving the Ministry the comfort level it felt was necessary to launch the service, and meet the reasonable expectations of the Department's customers.
"We were also extremely encouraged by the helpful and frank comments for enhancements to our products offered by the agents and propose to integrate several of these recommendations in our overall e-government plans for the department," she said.
Through feedback from the test group, a technical support group has been established within the registry that will be accessible via the Internet or telephone to ensure that any technical issues can be resolved quickly to ensure that business can operate as smoothly as possible.
The new system can be accessed via the Government Portal through a dedicated IP address, which is made available to all Registered Agents. Authorised users have access to the secure information system by means of a combination of passwords and Personal Identification Numbers.
The capabilities of the system in addition to direct Internet access are high-level security involving data encryption, passwords and the personal identification numbers.
The system specifically enables electronic submission of incorporation documents, file maintenance, financial processing, and makes available documents, company particulars and payment history for agent review via the online company inquiry.
Agents are now able to reserve company names online, generate reports such as fees due and company listings.
But, most important the system offers a database file transfer feature which allows the Agent to compare his records with those of the Department's thereby ensuring consistency between the Agent's database and of the department's.
To support this system, the department will continue the provision of its Technical Help Desk, which is accessible by telephone as well as by e-mail.
By Keva Lightbourne, The Nassau Guardian