Trade licences 
back on track

The Department of Commerce and Investment has announced that all its trade and business licence applications are now up to date. A previous backlog was finally eliminated after new methods for the processing of applications were introduced.

The Department’s head of Business Licensing, Ryan Rajkumarsingh, said he is satisfied with the progress made to date. “We have made small but significant changes to the handling and processing of applications and the results are such that from January to March this year alone, a total of 1593 decisions were made by the board, 232 of which related to new issues, 1,266 to renewals and nine to local companies control grants,” he said. “The TBL Unit estimates turnaround time has now been reduced by approximately 25-40 per cent.”

Mr. Rajkumarsingh said he expects to increase that figure by an additional 10-15 per cent.

Commenting on the improvements, Board Chairman Garth Arch said: “I think I speak for all the Board members when I say that we are extremely pleased with the enhancements to the board submission system and are confident that the changes are working. In spite of the fact that we review more applications at each sitting as the board now meets every two weeks instead of weekly, we get through them far more efficiently as we have more consolidated documents to go through. If additional support is needed, the board secretary or assistant board secretary is in the room with access to the computer records which we can get immediately,” Mr. Arch said.

The TBL Unit anticipates eventually going completely paperless, as current results already show the positive impact of reducing paper in the boardroom. To further improve the licensing process, discussions are now taking place with various stakeholders to solicit feedback on how to effectively incorporate technology to better streamline work among relevant government agencies.

Garth Story

Board Chairman Garth Arch