As part of the e-Government initiatives under the e-Ghana project, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), an Agency established by the Ministry of Communications has implemented the e-Services and Government e-Commerce project to support operations of government services online. Under this project, a portal infrastructure is deployed to provide a platform for online submission of application of services through the use of eForms, an e-Payment interface for payment of the services, postal and delivery services and Application Security for various Government Agencies.
Online payment types available on the platform includes Visa Card & MasterCard (Credit/Debit Cards), e-Transact Card, Airtel Money, MTN Mobile Money, Payall (Cash and Cheque) and Bank Transfer. Postal and Courier Services operating on the platform includes Ghana Post EMS and DHL.
The entire portal platforms are managed by the National Information Technology Agency who is currently managing the National Data Centre for Ghana Government.
The Data Centre serves as a centralized repository for the storage, management and dissemination of government data and provides a common platform for MDAs, MMDAs and other government organizations. It is expected to make it easier for the public to access government services, and also provide one-stop source of government information, including government services directory, which citizens and the entire public can easily search and access.
In addition, the e-Services module will 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. Whilst the e-Payment Interface provides a platform for payment by citizens and businesses for services rendered on their behalf. For government employees, this will 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 ensuring customer satisfaction.
The pilot phase of the project, which will commence in December 2014, includes government agencies like 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 - CID, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Tourist Authority, National Communications Authority (NCA), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Registrar Generals Department and the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Food product importers can register online with the FDA. Clients of the Passport Office will be able to submit personal details for application of their passports online. Births and Deaths Registry will also administer and respond to birth certified copy requests from the public. With Accra Metropolitan Assembly, registration of marriage and acquisition of marriage license will be applied and paid online. Ghana Tourist Authority will register accommodation and catering establishment, while DVLA introduces online drivers’ license renewal application and vehicle ownership transfer services with online payment.
The Criminal Investigation Department of Ghana Police Service does nominal vetting application (for nonresidents) and criminal check application (finger print vetting for local citizens including appointments).Users of Minerals Commission’s services will be able to apply for prospecting/ reconnaissance license and also for a land Cartographic search.
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 a pilot during which period all the services provided by these government will be accessible online. Downloadable forms will also be available for the entire respective Agencies’ services, which applicants can download, pay online, fill out and submit manually. During the pilot stage, implementation of the eServices will be limited to specific locations at each of the 13 Agencies’ offices in Accra.
At the end of the pilot, the project will be scaled-up to accommodate all the Agency locations and make their entire services available online. The Government Online Services Project “eServices and ePayment” portals was officially be launched on Wednesday 17th December,2014.