The outgoing Executive Director of the Ghana National Service Scheme (GNSS) Mustapha Ussif has outlined how his administration digitized the software system of the Scheme at different levels.
According to the former Executive Director who was elected the Member of Parliament for the Yagaba-Kubori constituency in the December 2020 general elections, the introduction of this self-managed and automated process decreased long queues at registration centres.
This has further reduced the frequency of human involvement and the margin of human errors committed during registration. The new system proved efficient.
He has therefore unveiled key areas the scheme has digitized from 2017 to 2021 when he was the Executive Director of NSS. These include; the Appointment and Paperless Registration System, Online Certificate Delivery System, Online User Agency Request, Authentication of Identity, Online E-zwich Verification and Authenticity, Digitization of Monthly and Annual Evaluation, Online Registration Payment, Online Registration Payment, Creating of Personnel Dashboard.
Read below the full statement on the digitization of the National Service Scheme.
1. The Appointment and Paperless Registration System: In response to the stampede that usually mars NSS registration annually, the Scheme deployed the paperless registration system which features an online booking process that allows personnel to book an appointment following acceptance by the user agency. A definite date, time, and registration centre is then allocated to the registrants.
The introduction of this self-managed and automated process decreased long queues at registration centres.
This further reduced the frequency of human involvement and the margin of human errors committed during registration. The new system proved efficient.
2. Online Certificate Delivery System: Immediately after we took office in 2017, we ran an audit and realized that over 500,000 certificates were left uncollected after service. Over 10% of the certificates printed had errors; making it impossible for graduates to present as evidence of service.
We, therefore, introduced a system to digitize the issuance of certificates where the data for certificate printing was derived from the identification cards provided during registration.
We also provided a dedicated online system for delivery of certificates to national service personnel in collaboration with some courier services.
This platform also enabled the scheme to print and deliver certificates to personnel shortly after completion of their compulsory one-year service.
3. Online User Agency Request: The scheme which deploys personnel to various sectors of the economy based on their requests needed to create a convenient and efficient platform to achieve this objective.
In view of this, another online platform which allows user agencies to request for service personnel based on their pre-determined criteria was set up.
This greatly improved service delivery and relations with user agencies.
4. Authentication of Identity: Among the major problems we inherited was the issue of stolen identity.
Day in day out, we received complaints of unscrupulous persons using the identity of others to register for national service.
Through digitization, we synchronized our system with that of the National Identification Authority, Ghana Passport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
Personnel were then required to provide one of these forms of identification so the system can match it with their picture and details.
It was when a person had been verified that the registration process is completed.
However, those who could not meet this requirement were asked to undergo a physical authentication process where they had to present themselves to the Scheme for approval.
This undoubtedly eliminated fraud and the issue of stolen identity.
5. Online E-zwich Verification and Authenticity: As indicated above, we had various reports of fraud that predates our regime.
In order to protect the public purse, we strengthened authenticity by ensuring personnel upload their e-zwich data on their portal.
The system then goes through to ensure the e-ewich number provided is that of the personnel or has never been used to receive an allowance in violation of our protocols.
If any issue is detected, the system rejects the card and places the registration of the personnel on hold.
The personnel will then have to visit our offices to help address the issue before any further action can be taken.
6. Digitization of Monthly and Annual Evaluation: Before we took office, service personnel had to manually complete their monthly and annual forms which are used for allowance payment and also the printing of service certificates.
This manual process resulted in numerous errors with names, sex, courses, institution attended etc.
In order to eliminate that, the forms were generated automatically on their dashboards with the data provided during registration.
Service personnel are currently required to print the automatically generated form for completion by their supervisor.
7. Online Registration Payment: Hitherto, all service personnel were required to pay for their registration at the ADB bank before they could initiate the registration process.
This made it difficult for personnel as some had to travel or queue in banking halls to make payment.
The new management introduced new payment platforms like mobile money and other online payment systems.
This eliminated some of the challenges with the registration process.
8. Creating of Personnel Dashboard:
The service personnel dashboard was also introduced to enable our service personnel have a unique online account on our website.
This enables the personnel to have access to all online services of the Scheme and for the Scheme to monitor the activities of the personnel.