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PEF DIALOGUES WITH DUTY BEARERS ON CREATING AN ENABLING BUSINESS ENVIROMENT

A cross-section of public and private stakeholders at the dialogue session

 

A key component of the BEEP accountability and advocacy project is the establishment of a public-private dialogue platform where duty bearers from public institutions are engaged by the private sector based on evidence from research and user experiences. The platform was set up to afford both sides the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions around reforms currently ongoing in the respective agencies under the BEEP project. Present at the meeting was the Head reforms at the commercial courts, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, the Registrar General, Mrs. Jemima Oware and Mr. K.S. Mensah from the office of the Commissioner General, Ghana Revenue Authority forming the public sector team and as well as representative from various private sector institutions led by Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO of PEF and a team from DFID to enrich discussions and promote the spirit of public-private partnership. The dialogue centre on the four key focus areas i.e. commercial court reforms, business registration, paperless port system and payment of taxes.

The discussions started with presentations from researchers at IEA and ISSER on their respective research areas and their findings. After their presentations the duty bearers were given the opportunity to respond to the findings and give assurances on the state of reforms and how issues are being addressed. The private sector participants were also given the opportunity to make inputs in the discussion on the findings and responses received.

Major highlights during the presentation was the not fully functional and cumbersome online business registration portal, the lack of an administrator to manage cases at the commercial courts, the slow implementation of the paperless port system and the replacement of the TRIPS with ITAPS for filing of taxes. In their response Mrs. Jemima Oware indicated that the RGD has taken note of the challenges faced by users of the system and putting in place measures to redesign the online business registration portal to make it user friendly, enable e-signature and online payment features after which they will embark on a massive public sensitization and education on the system to increase traffic on the system thereby reducing paper transactions in the offices of the RGD. She also mentioned that the coming into force of the new companies’ law will make the office of the registrar of companies autonomous and financially independent which also has been one of the main challenges of the Department. Justice Torkornoo on her part called for increased demand from the private sector in birthing the needed changes at the courts and also supporting the judiciary financial to embark on these reforms which will improve the business environment in so many ways and make Ghana an attractive destination for investments. GRA indicated that the rollout of the ITAPS is in its early stages and that a full rollout will commence beginning June, 2019 but in the mean time they have put in place measures to make the system robust and user friendly. The GRA-Customs on their part indicated that the paperless port system is fully operational due to expansion works at the Tema port which will take into consideration all the reforms ongoing and make the Tema port a truly paperless port except that currently there downtimes from the processing documentation from the compliance unit at the head office in Accra which causes some delays and also national security operatives who conduct random checks on cargo leaving the port for security reasons.

The first two meetings on May 28 and June 21, 2019 concluded with assurances from duty bearers to commit to the reform process and also further engage the private sector to achieve an enabling business environment. The last in the series of dialogue meeting will be held periodically during the project implementation to track progress of reforms.

 

 

PEF ENGAGES ADMINSITRATIVE AGENCIES ON SERVICE DELIVERY CHARTERS

 

A cross section of participants during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra


Private Enterprise Federation, (PEF) with the assistance of Star Ghana is engaging other stakeholders to form a strategic partnership to prevent and fight administrative corruption in Ghana, (the “SPPACG Project”). This will be a nationwide project that seeks to achieve the following objectives:
1.    A transparent, efficient, cost effective, and fair service delivery to the private sector and citizenry by the administering public institutions.
2.    Adoption of a mandatory electronic application system (at least two of the crosscutting licensing requirements).
3.    The generation of requisite data to support advocacy positions on the cost of corruption (monetary terms and denial of prompt service delivery) to the country.
4.    Well informed private sector and citizenry on their roles and responsibilities in preventing and fighting administrative corruption.
Findings in the Baseline Report have been confirmed and validated as follows:
a.    Legislative, regulatory and policy changes since 2013 means that rather than seven (7) cross-sectoral licenses, a business requires thirteen (13) cross-sectoral licenses, permits/certificates to operate in Ghana, particularly where such business has foreign participation in the ownership or workforce of the business.

b.    The Town and Country Planning Ordinance, 1945 (Cap 84) has been repealed by the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority Act, 2016 (Act 925).

c.    The Factories, Offices and Shops Act, 1970 (Act 328) has not been repealed. It has also not been amended since 2012, (the date of the PEF Report). It may however be complemented by other pieces of legislation in Ghana such as the Labour Act, 2003, (Act 651), Ghana National Fire Service Act, 1997 (Act 537), and Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1987, (P.N.D.C.L. 187) as amended, until it is overhauled to reflect current standards.

d.    With the exception of the Registrar Generals’ Department, there is absence of an electronic application platform in the other Administering Agencies.

e.    There still exist uncoordinated approaches to the approval processes.

f.    All the three Service Delivery Charters do not state the responsibilities of employees of the Administering Agency on the one hand, and that of the end users on the other hand. Such a clear statement of responsibilities makes for transparency and trust as the public is aware what duties to legitimately expect from the Administering Agency’s employees, and what options they have, should employees of the Administering Agency fail to deliver on these responsibilities. Such clear statement also enables end users know what is required of them in the permit/licensing and certification process. Such a provision is crucial to accountability and empowering the public to hold themselves and employees of the various Administering Agencies accountable for those responsibilities.

g.    All of the three Service Delivery Charters do not contain a checklist of the documents that applicants must present on applying for a license/permit/certificate nor the practices and procedures involved in such applications. Providing a checklist of the documents required and the processes involved makes for efficiency and prevents undue delays as applicants are able to cut out delay from non-submission of required documents. It also empowers the end users to assist the EPA in the delivery of efficient and cost effective services.

h.    All of the three Service Delivery Charters do not state the fees payable for the specific services to be provided, so the fees cannot be reviewed in this Report. A good Service Delivery Charter must stipulate the fees for each service, as this bolsters transparency, empowers the public to differentiate between approved and unapproved fees, and is crucial to preventing and fighting administrative corruption.

i.    All of the three Service Delivery Charters either contain no complaint redress provisions or ineffective complaint redress mechanisms. An effective complaint resolution procedure must state specific officials or contact persons to whom complaints must be addressed, and, timelines within which to address these complaints. This is an important part of an equal opportunity policy, and helps the Agency deal with complaints quickly, fairly and consistently. Sufficiently detailed complaint redress provisions and a customized complaint management software will aid in quick and effective resolution of disputes.

j.    Although the EPA Service Delivery Charter contains a provision that lists the services that the EPA provides and the timelines for the delivery of these services, the provision omits two of EPA’s key services and the timelines for these two key services – the issuance of EPA permit and EPA certificate.

k.    All of the three existing Service Delivery Charters generally state the Mission and Vision of the administering agency, but not the Objectives.

l.    The EPA’s Vision as stated in its Service Delivery Charter is too long, and thus not easy to remember/memorise. A good Vision statement should be short, simple and specific to the services that the Agency renders to the public. It should not leave anything open to interpretation, and should have ambition. This makes it easy for employees and the public to remember or memorize and to identify with.

m.    Two of the three existing Service Delivery Charters do not contain the logo/symbols of the Administering Entity. Logos are known to give an added sense of identity to an entity, and evoke some level of connection with its clients. The importance of a logo to the identity of an entity cannot be overemphasized.

n.    All of the three Charters do not stipulate timelines for periodic reviews. A good Charter must stipulate timelines for periodic reviews to ensure continuously improves its service delivery and that keeps up to date with the needs of the public.

o.    All of the Service Delivery Charters were not available online. There was also not evidence that these Charters had been publicized widely particularly in the media. A Charter cannot be effective unless end users are aware of its existence.



Africa Automation Fair 2019

Africa Automation Fair is the premier focused platform for the Automation and Smart Control Industry in Africa; working closely with industry associations including the Industrial Instrumentation Group (IIG) Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Measurement and Control (SAIMC) and Technews Publishing making it the leading event in the African market.

Discover the latest innovations in Industrial Automation together with technologies that emerge from Industry 4.0. at the second edition of the Connected Industries Conference, experience the advanced connected industries of the future.

With the growing scope of the show and changes in the industry, the 2019 exhibition will see the inclusion of IIoT, Industry 4.0, AI, VR, Robotics, Disruptive Technologies and an expanding focus on Infosecurity to name a few.

Date:
4 – 6 June 2019 – Tue | Wed |Thur

 

Venue:
Ticketpro Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg

 

Register online for free entry to the Fair

 

Why Africa Automation Fair 2019

If you are thinking about the following then you need to be at Africa Automation Fair 2019

  • Technical assistance
  • Interoperability of components
  • Are you keeping up with Industry 4.0
  • Is Africa ready for digital transformation
  • Is Education Keeping Up With Industry 4.0
  • Does Industry 4.0 help my business? How?
  • Do you  have the required  skills and education
  • Embrace  Industry 4.0 or risk being  left behind
  • Making Sense of and Making Progress with Industry 4.0
  • Are you using your technology to the best of its abilities?
  • Looking to reduce downtime, improve product quality or streamline asset maintenance

Africa Automation Fair Value Proposition

 

  • All the key players on one floor enables you to compare products, technologies and solutions
  • Discover ways automation can benefit you and when and how to integrate it
  • Find solutions and innovations to current challenges within Automation
  • Connected Industries Conference - Spotlight on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the impact it will have on the South African economy
  • Industry skills and knowledge - There is no better place to grow your business using knowledge gained on the show floor
  • 3 free Workshops to get access to product education and skills
  • Our exhibitors showcase the latest technologies and innovations which allows you to keep up to date with the latest trends
  • Unparalleled networking opportunities

Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) Complaint/Petition System

The objective of the GITC Act 926 is to promote and enhance the competitiveness of the local private sector and contribute to making Ghana the Industrial hub of the sub-region.

The GITC would provide for the regulation of international trade in Ghana in conformity with the rules and regulations of the World Trade system.
It will  ensures fairness, efficiency, transparency and objectivity in the application of measures affecting international trade and the use of world trade measures

The GITC would enquire into and determine complaints by the private sector in relation to safeguarding measures, subsidization of imported products by foreign governments, dumping of imported products in the domestic market and tariff adjustments.
For GITC to assist your organisation/company regarding the above-mentioned issues, kindly click the download button to get access to the complaint form.
Please send all completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Download File 

PEF ADVOCATES COMMON PLATFORM FOR PERMIT ACQUISITIONS

 

 

In addressing the delays encountered in acquiring permits by private businesses, the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) has recommended a single platform where all services pertaining to permits and certificates would be offered.

In an interview at a one-day workshop to validate draft Service Delivery Charters of selected regulatory agencies on Wednesday in Accra, the President of PEF, Nana Osei Bonsu said following the completion draft Service Delivery Charter, businesses will be able to acquire permits and other relevant documents faster and easier.

Currently, most private businesses face a major issue of permit acquisition delays which stifles their productivity.

According to the Federation, businesses suffer unnecessary deferrals in the acquisition of permits, licenses and certificates, where in some cases, processes that should be completed in a week took several months to complete.

Bonsu observed that it’s not only because these agencies don’t want to do the job, but due to they being constrained by the access to adequate logistics.

“It is disruptive to business, said Osei Bonsu. “So if we have a common platform for all of the agencies and we have an IT system where businesses can do licensing from the comfort of their homes and pay the requisite fee into a bank account, it would reduce the interface between people.”

“Once you reduce that, you reduce the option or opportunity for somebody to demand for money or from extorting money from private businesses, he stated.

Delays among other obstacles associated with the acquisition of permits, licenses and certificates add to the cost of doing business.

“If the system was efficient and you could do it from home you would not have to interface with anybody. So, we are looking at the efficiency and the delivery of this service based upon the charges that the agencies themselves have put together.” He said.

 

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