TradeNet shortens trade cycle in Mauritius
The introduction of the TradeNet system has greatly improved trade cycle in Mauritius. As such Customs services are being handled more efficiently as businesses deal with Customs from the comfort of their offices. There is minimal physical presence, thus drastically reducing queuing time.
Introduced in 1994, the TradeNet system, based on Electronic Data Interchange, has been implemented in phases to ensure gradual change from traditional methods and better acceptance to this new way of dealing with Customs. The first phase, launched in July 1994, dealt with the electronic authorisation by Customs for the delivery of goods in cases where no Customs inspection is required. Later in January 1995, a second phase was introduced to allow electronic submission to Customs of sea manifests by shipping agents. At the implementation of the third phase in 1997, facilities were introduced to cater for electronic declaration and processing of bills of entry. By July 2001, additional functionalities had been added in the fourth and fifth phase to include transfer of containers and import/export authorisation by controlling agencies respectively.
With the TradeNet system, we are indeed witnessing a modern approach to dealing with government with minimal queue and waiting time.
Contributions Network Project
The project comprises the setting up of an electronic one-stop shop for all payments and contributions of the private sector to Government. The electronic submission of Income Tax and VAT returns is operational since May 2000. This has been extended to cater for contributions to NPS/NPF/IVTB since July 2001. E-filing and e-payment of corporate tax was launched in January 2002. It is proposed to proceed with the e-filing of corporate information and e-payment of fees to Registrar of Companies in the near future.
Civil Status Information System - Towards a Central Population Database
Have you ever tried to figure out what’s written on your birth or marriage certificate? Or, worse still, have you come across omissions/errors when you have requested extracts of such certificates? These problems are now bygone since the introduction of the computerised system at the Civil Status Division (CSD) in November 2001. Registration of birth, marriages and death has now been computerised. We have now access to a legible, A4-sized computer-generated printout of these certificates.
The CSD holds a central repository of information about the Mauritius population. This database, which will evolve into a Central Population Database (CPD), will serve as a source of information to different Ministries and Departments subject to the approval of relevant authorities. As such, there will be no need to provide your full personal details each time you visit a governmental counter. The information will be easily retrieved based on your Identity Number which is generated right at the registration of birth.
The Central Population Database is currently under implementation.
Computerised Library System
Access to the Mauritius legislation, regulations and judgements pronounced in the different Courts throughout the island is now available in electronic format at the fingertips. A connection to the Internet and an appropriate account with the Supreme Court open your way to an incredible amount of electronic legal documentation.
The Supreme Court has implemented a computerised library system for the electronic storage and access to legislation, regulations and judgements. Access to and retrieval of this information is provided though a web-based interface over the Internet. Authorised users have the possibility of searching the wide range of documents by category or by a range of years. The system is available to subscribed users since March 2002.
AFIS - Faces can lie, fingerprints never
Human fingerprints conceal information that can help in the unique identification of an individual. Besides, fingerprints taken at sites of crime (SoC) can help identify criminals by matching them with existing fingerprint images of habitual criminals. Prompt identification of the fingerprints may speed up the elucidation of the crime and, as such, ensure sustained safety of the population.
The Police Department hit hard with the introduction of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in 1999 to cater for the management of fingerprints and crime records. Scanned images of fingerprints are stored for future matching with fingerprints gathered from SoC. This speeds up the process of matching fingerprints. The system also keeps details on criminals as well as records of previous methods used in crime perpetration and convictions. Specific information on habitual criminals is also included in the system. This facilitates the retrieval of crime history of any convicted person. Photographs of convicted persons are also kept and facilities are available to help witnesses in the identification of suspects.
The system was initially implemented at the Central CID. In 2001, it has been extended to 6 Police Divisions and 6 Police Stations on a pilot basis. The system is now being extended to all Police stations islandwide.
Vehicle Tracking System through Global Positioning System
The Mauritius Police Force runs a large fleet of vehicles. In view of monitoring the proper use of these vehicles for official matters, a project has been initiated whereby the movement of vehicles can be tracked through the Global Positioning System. This project is currently confined to the Emergency Response Service (ERS). All the vehicles of the ERS are equipped with a device that can capture the position of the vehicle through the GPS. The position is then sent via short message service (SMS) to a base station. As such, the movement of the vehicle can be tracked almost online on the computer system. The system is operational since 2002.
Central Personnel System
The objective of the project is to make up-to-date data of all public officers readily available, which is vital for planning and management of human resources. It will be a database of all public officers maintained at the Ministry of Civil Service Affairs & Administrative Reforms.
Ministries and departments will act as sub-offices, that is, they will access the Central Database and update data pertaining to their personnel only. The project will ensure standard personnel procedures in all Ministries/Departments.
The System will allow automatic computation of vacation leaves, passage benefits, compensation and increment. There will be better monitoring of appointments and vacancies in the Civil Service, easy tracking of workforce and useful reports for human resource management.
The project has been successfully piloted and is fully operational at the Ministry of Civil Service Affairs since 2001. The system is currently being extended to some ten sites before its full fledged implementation in all Ministries and Departments.
System at Social Security Office
Apart from a fully computerised system both at the Contributions and Benefits sections of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity & Senior Citizen Welfare and Reform Institutions, public officers at the Social Security Offices are equipped since January 2001 with computing facilities to better respond to the expectations of the citizens. The Social Security Officers are using technology to access a central database at the Benefits branch Rose Hill, to register applications for benefits and industrial injury. This new system is also enabling the officers to process social aid cases and effect payment in regional offices.
The Weather forecasting activities of the Operational Division of the Meteorological Services have been computerised since 1997. The Applied Division is using the CLICOM software for climate data management.
Digital Court Recording System (DCRS)
The DCRS is presently being used for the recording of Court proceedings for all court rooms found at the Supreme Court. The DCRS allows the recording and retrieval of court hearings. Any party concerned may gain access to the hearings in case of any challenges by litigants. The system is also being implemented at the other Courts including Rodrigues.
Video Conferencing System–Off Court deponing at Rodrigues
Witnesses no more have to face the physical presence and dreadful look of dangerous criminals while in Court. No need to deploy special security measures while transferring suspects to Court.
The Video Conferencing System, introduced since November 1999 at the Supreme Court, does not necessitate the physical presence of potentially dangerous suspects. The video conferencing facility has been established from one Court room at the New Court House to the Prisons Services at Beau Bassin and Grand River North West and the witness room at the New Court House. Suspects who have been remanded to jail can depone from the prisons itself without the need for physical presence in Courts. As such no special measures need to be taken.
This facility has also been extended to the Rodrigues District Court and it helps in cutting down cost and saving time of trials.
Passports – New Look
In line with increased security around the world, the Passport & Immigration Office has reviewed the features of Mauritian passport. New and enhanced security features such as ultra-violet printing, ghost print and digital imaging have been included in the new passport. A new passport personalisation system has been acquired for issuing the new passports.