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Digitization and Automation of Government Services (ARDHI SASA, eFILING, BRS)

E-Government is the use of a range of information technologies by government agencies with the aim of transforming government operations to provide better services for its citizens and businesses. This has especially proven helpful during the subsistence of the COVID-19 pandemic which necessitated a shift from the norm in the provision of services across almost all sectors.

Some of the notable e-government platforms include:

(i) Ardhisasa 

On 27th April 2021, the President of the Republic of Kenya launched the National Land Information Management System (NLIMS) dubbed Ardhisasa which integrates all operations of the Ministry of Lands and provides a one-stop-shop where end-to-end transactions in relation to land are conducted, with the Nairobi Registry as its pilot. Despite numerous challenges since its launch, the system is now operational in the Nairobi registry, with the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning preparing to digitize 20 other counties by December 2022.

Recent Developments and Impact to the Clients

  1. Land Title Conversion: Clients with land within Nairobi and its environs should look out for the gazette notice notifying members of the change and giving a ninety (90) day period to lodge any complaint with regard to the property.
  2. Payment of Land Rent: through a public notice, payment of Land Rent at the Nairobi Registry was discontinued on the e-Citizen platform and is currently processed through the Ardhisasa platform. All payments made through the e-Citizen platform are ineligible for processing. The link can be assessed through: https://lands.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Public-Notice-Land-Rent-1.pdf
  3. Delays at the Nairobi and Central Registries: although the platform is currently operational, it has had some challenges which have resulted in delays in transactions handled on behalf of our clients.
  4. Land Transactions for foreigners: currently, to interact with the platform, a landowner needs to create an account and input their national identity card. This creates doubt on how a landowner, not holding a national identity card, will interact with the platform without verification of their identity.

(ii) Business Registration Service (BRS) 

Recent Developments and Impact to the Client  

  1. Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership by Companies:  The BRS had initially given a deadline for all companies to file their beneficial ownership information (‘BO’) by 31st July 2021, but this has been extended due to the influx of applications. Kindly note that failure to disclose the BO information attracts a penalty of KES 500,000 payable by the company and each officer of the company in default. All companies that have not filed the information should do so because the deadline has been extended until the influx is cleared.
  2. Automation of BRS services due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all services are done virtually via emails apart from Debentures which are done manually. This has resulted in faster transactions and is expected to continue through 2022.
  3. Linking of Companies on the e-Citizen Platform: all entities established prior to 2016, under the manual system need to be linked to the e-Citizen platform. This should be done by either a director or the companies secretary. Companies not linked to the portal will not be able to; carry out a search, file annual or interim returns or file any changes to the shareholding, directorship or change in the share capital.

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