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BIPA system is not as efficient – Authority promises to pull up socks amid client frustrations

BIPA system is not as efficient – Authority promises to pull up socks amid client frustrations

The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) has acknowledged the seriousness of their clients’ frustrations, following a public demonstration outside their offices last week.

Vivienne Katjiuongua, Chief Executive Officer of BIPA said they have taken note of the recurring grievances from clients about the difficulties they experience when utilising their business and intellectual property services.

“We want to concede that we have been experiencing severe challenges with out systems and limited human and financial resources, out new online system is in development phase, but we rolled it out to the public when lockdown struck to avoid the risks that came with the spread of COVID-19 through human contact,” she explained.

She admitted that the system is not as efficient as they had hoped it to be, but they are working on improving and securing the system to streamline online applications.

“However, I am not here to make excuses, but to candidly admit that we must earnestly reform our processes to serve our clients better and new arrangements have been implemented very recently, to address specific concerns,” she added.

She said the arrangements include them extending their office hours with an additional 90 minutes, therefore their new clients hours are from 8:30 to 16:30, which is in response to appeals from their stakeholders for them to play its part to contribute to the ease of doing business in Namibia.

“To address the issues of backlogs and delays, our staff have been working overtime on weekends and we have also implemented a process whereby clients are called to inform them about the status of their applications,” she emphasised.

Katjiuongua said at first glance, these changes might seem minor with the greater context of their clients’ frustrations, but she acknowledged concerns about the slow process, delays in responses to clients, grievances about the online system that functions inadequately and complaints about phones not being answered.

“Please accept my personal guarantee that we are making efforts to address these concerns,” she concluded.


 

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.