JIS News

The Electronic Transaction Act has been hailed as a piece of legislation that will revolutionize the way business is conducted at the Companies of Jamaica (COJ), because it will facilitate an electronic signature.
Speaking with JIS News, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the COJ, Shellie Leon said, “with the passing of the Act and the Regulations, which we are looking forward to, persons will be able to go online, pay for a service online, complete their form online and affix an electronic signature to documents.” She further pointed out that the Regulations when instituted “will identify the specific methods of protection of the identity, protection of an electronic signature and indeed the integrity of the whole system.”
Miss Leon said that this development is of great importance to the COJ and its customers as it will lower cost for both parties and save time on the registration process. “We have documents at the COJ, which the law says must be signed.signature under the present regime means one has to physically affix a signature to a document,” Ms. Leon pointed out.
Another challenge for the COJ, she highlighted, is processing customers within a 15-minute time frame. She explained that this activity is very time consuming because of the number of forms that have to be completed and processed. “When we check for example, the number of customers who come in to register a business name, it would be phenomenal if such customers could simply sit at their computers and register those documents,” she said.
In relation to saving cost, the Deputy CEO reasoned, “if we are able to get customers out more quickly, and if we are able to see less customers here, it means we can utilize less resources,” while adding that the Act could “revolutionize the way we do business here at the COJ.”
In lauding the idea of a paperless system, she explained that “presently we face a situation where we have a lot of paper-based applications in our if someone simply goes online and completes a document, it means we no longer have to have these paper documents that we later have to convert,” she explained.
She added that this system would not only save on stationery cost but also “long term savings of millions of dollars.”
On the matter of job creation, Miss Leon noted that with online registration and transactions taking place, operators of Internet cafes would be able to employ persons to assist clients with online applications. “We are talking about generating more jobs and this area of electronic commerce has many opportunities for the COJ and third parties dealing with the COJ,” she added.
The Deputy CEO informed that the Registrar has already requested personnel to alter its website in order to accept these online payments along with “procuring the relevant licence which will allow us to deal with these transactions in a secure environment.”
As it relates to online access and services, Miss Leon explained that currently, no form of online registration can be done but “persons can conduct business name search, download their forms from the internet and if customers are members of the website, they can print copies, conduct public searches on files and find out what documents have been filed with the COJ.”
The Electronic Transactions Act, which was passed in the House of Representatives on November 14, 2006, seeks to set out the legal framework by which e-commerce will be governed and will seek to facilitate electronic transactions by means of reliable electronic communication.
The COJ is awaiting the passing of the Electronic Transactions Regulations to facilitate electronic transactions.

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