Tanzania: Computerisation Helps to Slightly Raise Brela Efficiency
One year since the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) introduced computerised system, very little success has been recorded as most applicants shun the online submissions.
Business registration is now being done electronically in every district in the country by business officials since October last year, the move that is aimed at fast registration.
However, the agency has slowly transformed its processes to register a business. While previously it took up to a year or more to register a business after an entrepreneur had paid all fees, it now takes less than a week.
Evidence seen by The Citizen show that it is possible to register a company within three days and get a certificate if all the requirements are met.
Speaking to The Citizen in an exclusive interview recently, BRELA's chief executive officer, Mr Esteriano Mahingira, said a lot of achievements have been made since the online application started almost a year ago.
But, he said, one of the challenges is that most people would still come to Brela offices for some services that they could do online.For instance, according to the CEO, it is possible to put a company name search on line, but some applicants still send application letters requesting for manual name search.
"I think the problem here is that most Tanzanians have not adopted the usage of technology," he said.
As BRELA is only located in Dar es Salaam, applications from upcountry were in the past forced to travel for registration and payments of fees.
He dismissed the general notion that the agency was still tainted with bureaucracy, saying the organisation has taken serious reforms towards making it a corruption free-institution.
However, he admitted that there were still some 'fake' officials who coax money from uninformed customers, claiming they could help them register their companies.
According to the CEO it is possible to register a company within three hours if the applicant has all the relevant documents.
An applicant, he said, could download all the required documents online, fill them and send them either through post or any other reliable means without necessarily visiting Brela.
He said slow progress of archiving BRELA's computerisation and information technology needs stock remain one of the challenges, archiving deficiency gets worse as the amount of archives accumulate.
But a stakeholder in the BRELA who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that while there has been a number of improvements in business registration, corruption was still a problem.
"Things seem to be changing slowly at BRELA, but it may take time to weed out underground corruption," he said.
He maintained that the organisation was undergoing some reforms that if maintained would eventually render it one of the most efficient agencies in the country.
He said it took him about a week to register his company and issued with a registration certificate.
Bureaucracy at the agency is closely attributed to national poor ranking in doing business, a survey always carried out by the World Bank.