A week ago, I did a post on the companies registry project and how it had failed to yield expected results. You can read the post here. Read the comments section to get the reactions.

For some people, its easier to say that the piece was not well researched, its shallow, etc, which I have heard before. It prompted me to think of a blog policy where I will clearly state that if I give you the right of reply and you give shoddy, incomplete or arrogant answers, you waive the right to say that the piece wasn’t researched. If you wanted readers to have better information, you would have supplied it.

Back to the point. The whole story started in late March, and was triggered by an offer from @roomthinker aka M to finalize or redo the search function of the companies registry. The tweet was sent to @pkukubo and I will show his response.

According to @roomthinker, the search function is doable and the registry doesnt have to charge the usual shs 100 because it will be just a query to the database. I thought the ICT Board would jump at the offer but was made aware that government doesn’t work like that. If you are not IBM, Accenture, HSBSEC or some hotshot global body, you can keep your free services.

My argument was that @roomthinker was part of the team that won $ 1 million at the Nokia challenge and that should demonstrate that he understood the challenge and had possible solutions. I am not sure he got a cut of the million bucks but with the experience, we could benefit and milk his services, after all, he had offered ūüôā

After @roomthinker’s offer, there was debate whether a company should write officially, talk to the right people or do what.

I must say that I didnt understand Kukubo’s comment, I wasnt sure whether he meant that M should help private sector registries first, whether he should identify problems and help govt integrate and solve them, or what. Here is my tweet to Paul:

I never got any other response from Kukubo on whether local techies can volunteer and provide services or only international firms can.

Then I called Kukubo wanting to know if the actual contract cost was sh 62m, he told me he had no info and that I should look on the ICT board website, I bet he had no idea that such info was non-existent on the site.

But on the site, I found valuable info and for the sake of those who comment without reading fully, this is what the info said:

The work of digitizing records at the company registry is now complete.

  • Customers shall have speedier searches and retrieval of their records.
  • Registering companies and names look up is faster.
  • Accuracy in records upped.
  • Name search is now automated and real-time. The benefits is no time wasted in the names search.
  • Elimination of potential duplication of records.

As a user of registry services, point no. 4 was more appealing, that search is now automated and real time and that I will not waste more time with manual search.

So, when you read the rejoinder, ask yourself, what is automation?

Dictionary.com defines automation as:

“the¬†technique,¬†method,¬†or¬†system¬†of¬†operating¬†or¬†controlling a process¬†by¬†highly¬†automatic means,¬†as¬†by¬†electronic devices,¬†reducing¬†human¬†intervention¬†to¬†a¬†minimum.”

Wikipedia defines it as:

Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialisation, automation is a step beyond mechanisation. Whereas mechanisation provides human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly decreases the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and in daily experience.

If I still have to go to the companies registry, where is the automation? The article was merely informed by the ICT board definition of what completed digitization at the registry will allow me to do.

Part two, Kukubo’s response.