The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has Thursday launched a Protocol Information Management System that is aimed at easing access to Protocol services by diplomats that come into the country.
The launch which saw a number of diplomats in attendance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala was presided over by the Minister of State for International Affairs, Henry Oryem Okello and the UN Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is charged with the administration of Privileges and Immunities to the Diplomatic Corps and International Organizations which have over the years increased in number due to the ministry calls “strengthened partnership of the Government of Uganda with other countries.”
Protocol Information Management System which was launched yesterday is a secure web-based system that improves the availability and accuracy of data on diplomatic immunities and privileges.
The digitalized and automated processes include; Arrival notifications, Accreditation and IDs, Tax Identification, permits and passes, motor vehicle registrations, driver’s license, customs clearance, tax refund, Airport pass, and Aircraft clearance.
Minister Okello acknowledged that there has always been a delay on the part of the ministry to offer these services with urgency for the last 55 years, which often caused frustration on the part of diplomats.
“You have often, felt the frustration of having these documents delay to get to you. This has been the case because, for the last 55 years, the administration of these privileges and immunities has been done manually by a very small dedicated team of people in our Protocol Department,” he said.
Oryem said that as part of the Government’s 2011 e-Government policy, MoFA through the support of UNDP sought to automate these services by developing an integrated Management Information System for Protocol Services which recognizes ICT as a mechanism to foster economic development.
“The objective of this particular initiative was to increase Efficiency in the Administration of Privileges and Immunities to the Diplomatic Corps with clear aims to enhance the Protocol and Consular services offered at MoFA and have all processes in Protocol automated and digitized.”
Addressing the gathering, the UN Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango, appreciated the partnership that has existed with the Ministry which has led to the automation of the Protocol Service System that will ease the administration of privileges and immunities for the Diplomatic corp.
“The development of the system was supported by the UNDP through its institutional effectiveness programme which focuses on supporting government institutions to improve systems of service delivery,” Malango said.