Business Regulatory Review Agency [BRRA]: 2016 T0-Date

Business Regulatory Review Agency [BRRA]: 2016 T0-Date

The British Chamber of Commerce recently joined the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) in hosting a multi-stakeholder event in Lusaka earlier this week. The event was designed to, other things, provide a snapshot of BRRA as an entity, its main achievements and challenges since inception as well as a regulatory impact assessment report and short-to-medium term focus covering the next three (3) years.

Below is a summary of Business Regulatory Review Agency Director, Sharon Sichilongo’s keynote address:

BRRA INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

  • In 2008, Government appointed a Business Licensing Reform Committee (BLRC) whose mandate was to steer implementation of comprehensive business licensing reforms.
  • The BLRC report highlighted that Zambia had a weak regulatory and policy formulation system with limited or no consultation with stakeholders. This resulted in policy and regulatory frameworks that had adverse impacts on private sector development.
  • The report further highlighted that failure to harness and effectively use Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) to streamline licensing processes and develop integrated systems resulted in cumbersome, bureaucratic, inefficient and costly business registration processes.
  • The findings and recommendations of the BLRC provided the basis for government to initiate
  • Business reforms aimed at improving the business environment.
  • One such reform was the enactment of the Business Regulatory Act no. 3 of 2014 as a vehicle for providing a legal framework to govern business regulation and implement recommendations by the BLRC.
  • The BRRA was established as a Statutory Body under Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI) by the Business Regulatory Act.

MANDATE OF BRRA

The mandate of BRRA is to:

  • Review and approve proposed policies and laws that affect business activity to ensure they are legitimate and serve the intended purpose; and
  • Coordinate development and implementation of appropriate regulatory interventions in order to improve the delivery of regulatory services and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

FUNCTIONS OF BRRA

  • Reviewing and approving proposed policies and laws that affect business activity;
  • Developing and coordinating the implementation of Regulatory Services Centres;
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of Single Licensing Systems for regulating business activity;
  • Managing and updating the e-Registry;
  • Issuing guidelines and standards for Regulatory Impact Assessments and undertaking Public Consultations;
  • Building capacity in Regulatory Agencies in Regulatory Impact Assessments; and
  • Monitoring and evaluating the business regulatory environment.

MAJOR PROGRAMMES UNDERTAKEN

  • The following major programmes and activities were undertaken:
  • Review of Regulatory Impact Assessments
  • Regulatory Environment Monitoring
  • Development and Publication of RIA Standards and Guidelines
  • Development and Publication of RIA Handbook
  • Coordination of Regulatory Services Centres
  • E-registry
  • Single Licensing
  • Capacity building in RIA
  • Sensitisation and Awareness

REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Section 6 of the Act provides as follows.

  1. A public body shall only submit to Cabinet for approval a policy or proposed law to regulate business activity if that policy or proposed law has the prior approval of the Business Regulatory Agency.
  2. A public body that intends to introduce any policy or proposed law for regulating business activity shall:

(a) Give notice in in writing to the Agency, of the intention to introduce or review a regulatory framework or policy regulating business activity, at least two months before submitting it to Cabinet.

(b) hold public consultation for at least thirty (30) days with:

1) Persons or proprietors of business enterprises who shall be affected by the proposed regulatory frameworks;

2) Persons or proprietors of business enterprises who shall benefit from the proposed regulatory

frameworks;

3) Regulatory agencies and other public officers who will implement the proposed regulatory frameworks;

4) All other relevant stakeholders

REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT

  • The Agency has reviewed and approved seven (7) RIAs reports since June 2016 from various institutions. These include:
    • ZNBC
    • CCPC
    • ZICTA
    • WARMA
    • Ministry of Transport and Communication
    • Health Professions Council of Zambia
    • PACRA
  • Received 11 notifications which are currently at different stages.

REGULATORY SERVICES CENTRES (RSCs)

  • A Regulatory Services Centre (RSC) is a One Stop Unit established to facilitate one-stop compliance with multiple regulatory requirements by multiple Regulatory Agencies under one roof in order to provide for an efficient and effective business regulatory clearance system.
  • The RSCs are aimed at streamlining business registration procedures and reducing the time it takes to comply with business regulations by offering the services of various Regulatory Agencies under one roof.
  • The RSCs also serve to increase accessibility of business regulatory services as well as facilitate promotion of investment.

REGULATORY SERVICES CENTRES (RSCs)

  • The BR Act No. 3 of 2014 provides for establishing and operationalizing an RSC at least in each Province.
  • Four (04) RSCs have been established and operationalised so far. These are located in Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe and Chipata.
  • Assessments for suitable accommodation for RSCs were conducted in Solwezi, Kasama, Mansa and Chinsali.
  • Office accommodation for RSCs was identified in Solwezi and Kasama. The two RSCs have been targeted for establishment and operationalisation by December 2018.

REGULATORY SERVICES OFFERED FROM RSCs

  • Business Name Registration;
  • Company Incorporation;
  • Name Clearance;
  • Registration of trademarks and other intellectual property rights;
  • Tax Payer Identification Number Registration;
  • Tax Clearance;
  • Registration for Preferential Procurement;
  • Employer/Employee Registration;
  • Registration of Suppliers;
  • Registration of Cooperatives;
  • Business Clearance under Local Authorities;
  • Tourism Services; and
  • Online services;

ONE STOP SHOP INTEGRATION SYSTEM (OSSIS)

  • BRRA is coordinating the implementation of the One Stop Shop Integration System (OSSIS).
  • The OSSIS is meant to compliment RSCs by facilitating sharing of information on business regulatory requirements among Regulatory Agencies.
  • OSSIS leverages e-platform in business regulation and facilitates sharing of regulatory requirements from another Regulatory Agency which has already collected those requirements.
  • The OSSIS was successfully piloted from 2016 to 2017 with Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA).

ONE STOP SHOP INTEGRATION SYSTEM (OSSIS)

  • The OSSIS Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2018 was developed and the OSSIS is being implemented in three stages as follows:
  • Phase I of OSSIS implemented. I.e. Integration of systems for PACRA, ZRA, NAPSA, WCFCB, FIC and ZPPA.
  • Now it takes on average twenty-four (24) hours to comply with PACRA, ZRA and NAPSA from the Regulatory Services Centres.
  • Phase II under implementation. i.e. integration of ZESCO, ZICTA, RATSA, RDA, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Lands, Department of Immigration
  • Phase III to be implemented by December 2018 i.e. integration of all other relevant regulatory agencies and Local Authorities.

E-REGISTRY

  • Establishment, maintenance and upgrade of eRegistry by BRRA is provided for under Section 8 of the Business Regulatory Act No.3 of 2014.
  • The Act defines the e-Registry as a centralized database and online transaction platform holding
  • information on licenses and regulations including formalities businesses have to comply with, and capable of facilitating the processing of applications online.
  • The e-Registry was set to be implemented in three (03) stages namely:
  • Informational e-Registry – has been implemented.
  • Implementation of back office licence processing system in regulatory agencies
  • Transactional e-Registry – development being supported by the World Bank.
  • World Bank also supporting development of Noticeand-Comment Platform which will facilitate submission of comments online on proposed regulations affecting business.
  • The link for the e-Registry web portal is www.businesslicenses.gov.zm. 9/4/18
  • The e-Registry contains the following information:
  • Texts of relevant laws and subsidiary legislation on business regulation;
  • Name or title of the business licence;
  • Licence period or validity;
  • Licence fees;
  • Downloadable application forms; and
  • Contacts of issuing Regulatory Agencies.

SINGLE LICENSING SYSTEMS

  • The Business Regulatory Act No.3 of 2014 under Section 10 stipulates that there should be established for businesses in each sector or group of businesses in a sector, a Single Licensing System.
  • Single Licensing System means a licensing system designed to facilitate compliance with multiple licensing requirements by multiple regulatory bodies through a single regulatory point or a Regulatory Services Centre (RSC).
  • In other words, it is an integrated approach to processing and issuing all required licenses and permits for businesses operating in a given sector or sub sector.

SINGLE LICENSING SYSTEMS

  • BRRA analysed regulatory frameworks obtaining in the Tourism Sector and established that businesses needed to comply with a minimum of twelve regulatory agencies to obtain a Tourism Enterprise Licence.
  • The agency proceeded to engage Regulatory Agencies to identify gaps and duplications and it came to light that gaps and duplications do exist and Government intervention is needed.
  • BRRA as a coordinating Agency for Single Licensing Systems for various sectors has developed a roadmap for development and operationalisation of the Single Licensing System for the Tourism Sector.

CHALLENGES

  • Low staffing levels compromising the capacity of BRRA to effectively implement programmes;
  • Resistance by some regulatory agencies to mainstreaming of RIA in policy and legislation formulation processes.
  • Some Regulatory Agencies have continued to resist the RSC concept making it difficult to effectively implement RSCs as provided for in the B.R. Act No.3 of 2014;
  • Inadequate funding leading to delayed implementation of key programmes including:
    • Roll out of RSCs to all provinces;
    • Re-development of e-Registry platform; and
    • Development of Single licensing Systems for various sectors.

SHORT-TO-MEDIUM TERM FOCUS (2018-2021)

  • Sensitise and train all Local Authorities in RIA by June 2019
  • Capacity building in RIA for Regulatory Agencies
  • Review of regulatory frameworks in the agriculture sector and propose reforms
  • Roll out RSCs to remaining provincial capitals and selected districts;
  • Increase number of services offered in the RSCs and streamline procedures;
  • Full implementation of OSSIS;
  • To establish a Single Licensing Systems in at least five (05) sectors by 2021 and
  • Redevelopment of e-Registry to include transactional and Notice-and-Comment platform

Trade and Investment Mission to Finland Invitation

Invitation to Finland

Trade and Investment Mission to Finland Invitation

The Zambia Development Agency, and  Embassy of Finland in Lusaka, are organising a Trade and Investment Mission to Finland  scheduled for May 2018.

The aim of the mission is to foster development cooperation between the two governments; as well as trade and investment cooperation between private sector companies in economic sectors such as mining, renewable energy and waste management.

The mission is a follow up to the inward bound investment mission from Finland that we hosted in September 2017.

The mission is particularly designed to facilitate joint ventures and identify match making opportunities with Finish companies.

In view of this, we wish to invite you to attend this mission to Finland. If interested, you will be expected to submit detailed profiles of your businesses or projects. The profiles are meant to help organisers identify suitable business to business partnerships.

*Kindly note that you will be expected to bear all expenses related to your travel such as airfare, accommodation and insurance.

For more details about participation, kindly contact Mr. Jones Zulu on +260977543080 or jones.zulu@zda.org.zm.

Zambia’s Public Debt: The Elephant in the Room

On 26 October, the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) held a conference on Zambia’s Public Debt.
The key speakers at the event were:
  • Alfredo Baldini – IMF
  • Caesar Cheelo – ZIPAR
  • Florence Banda-Muleya – ZIPAR
  • Shebo Nalishebo – ZIPAR
plus views from the following stakeholders:
  • Bankers’ Association of Zambia
  • Zambia Fruit and Vegetables Association
  • Zambia Association of Manufacturers

 

The available presentations can be downloaded below.

Governance in Zambia

The British Chamber of Commerce in Zambia held an event on Governance in Zambia on 28 September, attended by some sixty members and guests.

We were privileged to have a distinguished panel of speakers to address the gathering:

  • Dr Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Cabinet, who spoke about governance in the public sector
  • Dr Patrick Chisanga, formerly DG of the ZDA and now running his own corporate governance consultancy, Dynamic Concepts, who spoke about governance for companies
  • Ms Barbara Nost, CEO of the Zambia Governance Foundation, who spoke about organisational governance in the not-for-profit sector.

Key elements of governance were presented and discussed, such as integrity, transparency, responsibility, and accountability. Dr Msiska spoke about the key issues in the Zambian public sector and what government is doing to overcome these through improved systems, training and digital transformation. He also noted the difficulties in moving to a fully independent civil service and away from the system of political bias.

Their presentations were followed by an active discussion on topics such as transparency and acts of commission and omission. Their presentations and available for download here.

No events in August

There will be no Chamber events in August, with so may being away, so our next event will be our monthly lunch on 20 September. We will also have a programme of member only and open to all events from September onwards.

The Business of Sport in Zambia

The Chamber, as part of its activities to provide opportunities for informative discussion and to create awareness of opportunities for Zambian business, held an event on ‘The Business of Sport’ on 27 July.

The concept for the event was that Sport is, and can be, a business like any other but has wider benefits than simply promoting an activity. Support for sports by businesses can also have a positive and beneficial impact on communities; it can promote healthier lifestyles and, if properly managed, can enhance the public perception and awareness of the company concerned, raise its brand profile and even be profitable.

It is also the Chamber’s policy to have consistent exchanges between the Government and Zambia’s private sector, since economic growth and Zambia’s social development depends on interactions between both parties and a better understanding of opportunities and constraints.

We were delighted to have three excellent speakers for this event:

  • Ms Bessie Chelemu, Director of Sport at the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development
  • Mr Jason Kazilimani, President of the Zambia Golf Union and Senior Partner & CEO KPMG Zambia
  • Mr Ronnel Armengol, a Director of R&G Sports (as well as R&G Events), which has a 3-year contract with the Zambian Rugby Union to manage and promote Rugby 7s in Zambia.

Their presentations can be downloaded here.

Key takeaways were:

  • Government policy should make sports compulsory in all schools
  • Lack of awareness of sport disciplines other than football
  • Inadequate and poor sports facilities
  • Poor coaching, training and scouting
  • Sports administration leaves much to be desired
  • Opportunities for businesses to engage in supporting sports at community, provincial, national and even international levels
  • Lack of awareness of the range of support available through the Ministry and its relevant sports bodies and agencies.

Zambia’s Property Sector

The Zambian property sector has seen a number of changes in the last two years, particularly the swings in supply in office and retail space, rental values, the shortage of medium and lower cost housing and recent investments in educational and health establishments. The British Chamber of Commerce in Zambia organised this event to provide a range of information on what the current trends are in supply, demand, values, investment opportunities and the regulatory environment. Presentations were made by:

  • Tim Ware, MD of Knight Frank Zambia, provided an overview of the current state of play in the main sectors of commercial, residential and industrial and also looked at emerging sectors such as health, education and tourism;
  • Sydney Popota, MD of Real Estate Investments Zambia (REIZ), gave a background to REIZ’s development and also looked at emerging investment opportunities in the sector;
  • Namakuzu Shandavu, Infrastructure Partner at Corpus LP, discussed the regulatory environment, costs of trading in property and key matters to be aware of.

Their presentations are available for download here.

The Chamber is grateful for the support for the event from Knight Frank, REIZ and the Zambia Property Owners Association.

What’s In Store for the Zambian Economy

On 26 April the Chamber held an event on the Zambian Economy. The keynote presentation was made by Kapumpe Chola Kaunda, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at FNB and our discussants were the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry, Ms Kayula Siame, and Mr Larry Kalala, a former banker and now in business and farming. Mrs Kaunda’s presentation showed how Zambia’s current GDP growth is at 17-year lows due to lopsided sources of growth (mainly copper exports), but starting to recover as copper prices have risen and inflation has steadily fallen to just under 7%, while the yield on treasury bills has fallen to around 14%, down from about 27% a year ago.

While risks remain, the consensus among those present was that Zambia remains one of the best countries in sub-Saharan Africa in which to invest and that this confidence in likely to increase if and when Zambia concludes an agreement with the IMF.

Read the  FNB Zambia Presentation.