After first announcing in 2011, that they had an online Registry service on the way, IPA finally launched their Online Search & Lodgement System this year. The idea is that now users can lodge company forms, file documents, request certificates and extracts or do searches online without having to go to the counter at IPA’s office in Konedobu, Port Moresby.
I’ve had a go myself and I was surprised and perhaps a little alarmed that I can now find and see my company information quite easily. (Although I must add its great for seeing quickly what companies politicians own). I guess that was some of the concern on facebook by some people that making information easily acceptable like that was scary. But the ability to do company searches are one of the main functions of a registry and you were able to do this by lining up years ago.
The list of areas covered by the system are:
- Associations: Search Associations, Search Public Officers, Notice of Intention, Confirm Receipt of Authority
- Business Groups: Search Business Groups, Search Role, Incorporate Business Group, Confirm Receipt of Authority
- Business Names: Search Business Name, Search Business Name Owner, Confirm Receipt of Authority
- Companies: Search for a Company, Search Reserved Names, Reserve Overseas Company Name, Register an Overseas Company, Confirm Receipt of Authority
- Foreign Certification: Search Foreign Enterprise, Apply for Foreign Enterprise Certification, Initial Application For Exemption, Confirm Receipt of Authority
The system was setup by New Zealand registry specialists, Foster Moore. I hope that Foster Moore is looking at business with our other government departments such as Lands, Immigration etc etc. The more integrated our government registry systems and the more advanced services they can provide the cheaper overall doing business in PNG can become and reduce the stress that we all have to endure lining up in queues in Port Moresby.
As our mobile phone usage increases and the sales of cheaper smartphones proliferate and as banks in PNG hand out more Visa Debit Cards, the bigger the opportunity now for the Provinces to boost SME’s to get some money going in to the Provinces and not just the main cities like Port Moresby, Lae and Mt. Hagen.