Construction Bureau Ushers in Virtual Registration


The Addis Abeba City Construction Bureau covered the software’s 200,000 Br cost




The capital’s Construction Bureau has launched online registration services for contractors, consultants and suppliers of construction material and equipment, as well as other practitioners engaged in construction activities.

The software, which enables virtual registration, was developed by the Centre for Information Technology & Scientific Computing at the Addis Abeba Institute of Technology. The Addis Abeba City Construction Bureau covered the 200,000 Br cost of the software.

Although clients can fill in all the details through the system, they still have to pay a visit to the bureau’s offices to undergo a verification process and to pay the service fee. Annual renewal of licenses also requires making a second trip to the bureau, however.

“The system flags any attempt to register repeatedly,” says Yonas Ayalew, head of the bureau.

Implementing the system introduces an efficient administration of firms and hinders the abuse of directives through the submission of fraudulent documents and false data, according to Abinet Alene, director of the Construction Industry Development & Regulatory Division at the bureau.

There have been cases of contractors including equipment they have only rented during registration to receive a higher grade rating. “After they secure licenses, they participate in bids and contracts without having the necessary resources,” said Yonas.

The online registration system is also used to reinforce a directive for a code of ethics drafted by the bureau and approved by the city administration in April.

The directive is aimed at improving transparency and increasing the accountability of contractors, consultants and construction material and equipment suppliers.

“It used to be that the contractor alone was accountable for failures to perform or defects during a project, but now all the actors will have to answer as well,” said Abnet.

The bureau has neither a domain name for the registration system nor a server.  It is using the resources of the Education Bureau of the city, located in the same building in Sidist Kilo. Although the bureau has requested a domain name from Ethio telecom, it still has not received one yet.

Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of Ethio telecom, tells Fortunethat they have currently suspended this service as they areundertaking a restructuring of internal systems.

“The system is not complicated,” said Nebiyat Fikru, a lecturer at Arba Minch and Addis Abeba universities with over a decade of experience and designer of the software. “It provides the basic services using a web application.”

Abebe Dinku (Prof.), a civil engineer with over three decades of experience in Addis Abeba University’s School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, also welcomes the move but believes that a problem will remain until loopholes are addressed.

“The development of the software should be met halfway with a change of mindset of the professionals in the industry,” he remarked.

So far eight contractors and 51 consultants have registered with the new system.



By BERHANE HAILEMARIAM
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Aug 25,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 956]


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