The Competition Authority of Kenya has operationalized an e-filing portal aimed at increasing the Agency’s efficiency, while reducing transactional costs, in its operations. The e-filling is under a Case Management Systems (CMS), which has fully automated the Authority’s technical processes.
These include filing of mergers and exemption applications as well as register restrictive trade practices (including abuse of dominance), Abuse of Buyer Power and Consumer Protection complaints.
As anticipated, the automation process has reduced turnaround time within and without the Authority due to the fact that there is no physical movement of files and also officers can work from any geographical location around the globe. Also, the Portal has eliminated the need for hard copy applications, secures the integrity of the documentation, while facilitating real-time tracking of matters lodged with the Authority.
In addition, automation of the Authority’s processes has resulted in reduction in operational costs relating to stationery and other printing costs including printers’ maintenance by 80% in the initial stages. The Authority targets to go paperless by June, 30th, 2020.
The Authority envisages to fulfil its Constitutional requirement to take Government services closer to the public through this system, in lieu of brick-and-mortar offices which would have increased the Authority’s budget by 100%.
The Authority wishes to appreciate its peers whom it has learned from when developing this system, including the Competition Commission of South Africa, Swaziland Competition Commission, and the Netherlands Competition Commission.
The Portal capital expenditure included development and user-testing of the platform, purchasing attendant support software and sensitizing stakeholders. To ensure Business Continuity, the Authority has also developed an offsite Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) to handle the biggest risks of automation – system unavailability following cyber-related attacks or other forms of downtime.
The DRS ensures that in case of any undesirable eventuality, the Authority can recover within the shortest time possible, while ensuring that all the case files are backed up and available for processing in their complete form.
In order to ensure System Support, the Authority has enhanced the capacity, in terms of numbers and skills development, of the ICT Department, while and the same time sensitizing all the staff in the areas of cyber-security/risks.
The Portal is a critical element of automation of key processes within the Authority and follows the digitization of other processes including Human Resource & Administration, Procurement, ICT, and Finance.
The automation is also in line with the Government’s Digital Economy Blueprint aspirations which includes expanding provisions of Government’s services through the digital platforms.
The Portal is accessible via the link: https://competition.cak.go.ke:444/