Govt’s online services go live

The Government Online Services Project “e-Services and e-Payment” portals has officially gone live with effect from yesterday. The project forms part of the e-Government initiatives under the e-Ghana project and it’s being implemented by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) to support operations of government services online.

Under the project, a portal infrastructure has been deployed to provide a platform for online submission of application of services through the use of e-Forms, an e-Payment interface for payment of the services, postal and delivery services and application security for various government agencies.

A Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Ato Sarpong, who launched the portals at a ceremony yesterday, enumerated a number of benefits to the project to include the time savings in transacting business in the country.

“It costs the state more than GhC40 million as a result of time wasted in getting things but this new platform introduced will help reduce this drastically”, he said.

Mr Sarpong also mentioned the convenience in doing business; reduction in the cost of doing business; security of transactions and the convenience among other things as some of the advantages that come with the project.

He urged all to embrace the new payment platform as the government strives with the assistance and collaboration of the private sector, particularly the financial institutions to move the economy to a cashless one.

Payments types on board

Presently, the online payment types available on the platform include; Visa Card, MasterCard (Credit/Debit Cards), e-Transact Card, Airtel Money, MTN Mobile Money, Payall (Cash and Cheque) and Bank Transfer.

Also available are the postal and courier services operating on the platform such as Ghana Post, Express Mail Service (EMS) and DHL.

The Director-General of NITA, Mr William Tervie, said the e-Services module would merge government services and help to eliminate the difficulty involved in handling complex and bureaucratic processes at interdependent ministries and agencies that provide government services.

For government employees, he was of the view that it would enhance interaction with the public through the handling of forms filled out by citizens and paid online.

“This will enable information sharing, faster service delivery to customers while ensuring customer satisfaction”, he added.

Project specifics

The pilot phase of the project, includes government agencies such as the Passport Office, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), National Identification Authority and the Mineral’s Commission.

Others are the Births and Deaths Registry, the Ghana Police Service – Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Tourist Authority, National Communications Authority (NCA), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Registrar General’s Department and the Ghana Revenue Authority.

In addition, all relevant forms required to be completed by clients in order to receive any services from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies will be downloadable online to enable applicants to print the forms on their own and complete them without travelling to agencies’ offices for copies of the forms.

For instance, passport applicants can apply online and then visit the passport office to provide their bio data including fingerprints, based on automated appointment scheduling process.

Applicants will be notified automatically when their passports are ready for collection.

While waiting for notification, clients will be able to track their applications to the agencies online to determine the status of their application.

The e-Services and e-Payment will be rolled out first as pilot during which period all the services provided by the government will be accessible online.

source : Graphic Online