Thursday, December 20, 2007

BPA seeks improved information flow

BPA seeks improved information flow
By Joan Chirwa
Thursday December 20, 2007 [03:00]

A BUSINESS Processes Audit (BPA) has said establishing strategic relationships between government institutions and district business associations could serve as a mechanism for increasing information flow.

The Business Processes Audit supported by the Zambia Business Forum (ZBF) and Zambia Threshold Project notes that information flow to remote and outlaying districts still remained a serious challenge, especially in places without internet connectivity.

“Improving transparency procedures and processes largely depends on increased public access to information pertaining to service delivery,” said Augustine Mkandawire during the presentation of a draft report at a validation meeting held in Lusaka on Tuesday.

The meeting was called to discuss the Business Processes Audit conducted by the Corporate Services Bureau Zambia Limited, which focused on institutions such as the ZRA, Immigrations, Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO), Zambia Bureau of Standards and Ministry of Lands.

The report noted that the Zambia Threshold Project had significantly contributed to the improvement in efficiency levels in select public institutions and agencies, through the implementation of reforms.

Its main focus was on how far the government institutions have gone in implementing the Zambia Threshold Project activities with respect to reducing administrative barriers and promoting business economic freedom.

And Zambia Indigenous Business Association (ZIBA) chairperson Philip Chilomo said government institutions needed to look at existing business structures to make services more available to different entrepreneurs.

Chilomo said a number of entrepreneurs living outside Lusaka were facing problems in accessing services offered by institutions such as the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).

“For example, there could be someone running a business whose turnover is around K300 million and eligible to apply for a VAT refund, but that person will be discouraged to claim because of the distance between Lusaka and far flung places,” said Chilomo said.

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