Although automation of processes using technology is a phenomenon that have held sway in the private sector but not so strong in government agencies, MDAs and other policy makers; but good news is that in recent times some core government agencies that enhance ease of doing business like the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC has embraced technology effectively automating processes. The department of petroleum resources (DPR), especially the upstream division has come up with an Automated Downstream System (ADS), which is a strategy for the automation and digitization of all approvals, permits and licenses by the agency.
According to the industry regulator, ADS is made up of permits and licences issued by the Retail Outlet and Marketing (ROM) unit, and other related units.DPR explained the rational behind ADS: “In line with one of the visions of the Director of DPR, for all paper-based Approvals, Permits and Licences to be digitized and automated.
The Head, ROM Unit set up a committee comprising of ROM and ICT staff with the mandate to design, develop, and implement an online application system for processing of licences. “The committee worked with one of our vendors to come up an online – solution called “ROMS Portal”, which is an acronym for Retail Outlet Management System Portal. The solution is currently online and can be accessed by the general public anywhere and anytime.
“ROMS Portal involves the automation of the application process, payments, inspections, presentations, approvals and inventory of issued approval, permits and licenses. Verification of approvals, permits and licenses are done on ROMS portal. This will ensure accountability and a workflow that track every stage in the approval process on the portal.
“The approach adopted for the design of ROMS Portal was to be simple, easy to use and user-friendly. It was also designed to be accessible on any desktop and mobile web browser. The technology used for the design and implementation of ROMS Portal allow for speedy loading of the portal and data submission.”
We cannot begin to over emphasise the role technology plays in automation which makes processes faster; we hope that more government agencies embrace technology for easy implementation of policies and deepen ease of doing business in the country.