The Document Authentications & Registration Agency (DARA) launched an online document registration servicing nine of its branches at a cost of 5.3 million Br.
Developed by Custor Computing Plc, the new system has been tested under a pilot program prior to being fully operational last month. The new system will enable applicants to register and request authentication of documents online without stepping into the doors of the agency. The agency records and authenticates contractual agreements and power of attorney documents created by individuals and organisations.
Custor, the company which upgraded the new system at DARA, was established in 1993 and provides localized, web-based public service delivery solutions, IBM enterprise solutions, system development and infrastructure design and consulting services. In 2011, at a cost of one million Birr, the company installed a portal at the Ministry of Trade that is used for online registration and license renewal services.
“We believe the online system will revolutionize our services,” said Muluken Amare, deputy director of the Agency. “It enables us to get uniform, accurate and quality information from applicants.”
The system is launched for application, registration and authentication of contract agreements, as well as for sale transactions of companies, vehicles and houses, according to Muluken.
To register, applicants have to visit DARA’s website and fill out the online form and receive confirmation numbers. They take the confirmation numbers to one of the 15 branches of the agency to get their documents notarized and authenticated.
This will increase the efficiency of the agency branches, according to Menur Mohammed, branch manager inside Alsam Cheleqe building, located in Mexico Square along Chad Avenue.
“We are processing documents in half the time it used to take us,” he told Fortune.
The former process took an hour to get a single document authenticated. Now it is reduced to half an hour.
DARA reports that the tally of the services it provides at the 15 branches are comprised of authentications of power of attorney documents (55pc), contractual agreements (24pc) and reconciliation of documents (15pc).
Seven years ago, the agency launched less-efficient online power of attorney services, according to Muluken.
“Since the old software was outdated, we are currently upgrading it,” Muluken said.
Applauding the move the agency took, Habtamu Birhanu (PhD), a lecturer at Addis Abeba University’s School of Commerce with 16 years of experience, suggested that the agency should focus on online security, consistency of service and securing the privacy of applicants.
“The system should be sustainable, free from hacking threats, uninterrupted and free from people’s manipulation,” Habtamu said.
Security is not a concern, according to Muluken.
“The system has different layers that can resist any external interference activity at the back end,” said Muluken.
Established in 1987, the agency earned 359.4 million Br in revenue last fiscal year, by authenticating over 753,550 documents for 1.6 million clients. DARA plans to collect 400 million Br and serve over two million applicants in the new budget year.
The agency expects to move entirely to online registration within a year and a half.
Applicants can register online and go in person to the Agencys branches to sign and get Authentications. Pictured here are applicants at the Agency’s Branch 1-Lancha, on Beyene Aba Sebsib Street.
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