COJ gets ISO certification
With Jamaica ranked number six on the Ease of Starting a Business Index, according to the 2020 World Bank’s Doing Business report, the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) continues to improve service delivery with its recent ISO 9001:2015 Certification.
The COJ is the third government agency to have received certification under the Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project, which is funded by the World Bank. EXIM Bank and Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency have already achieved certification.
The scope of the certification focuses specifically on the registration of new companies, new business names and security interests in personal property. ISO 9001:2015 is an international standard. It specifies requirements for a quality-management system, which an organisation uses to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer demand and regulatory requirements.
According to Judith Ramlogan, registrar and CEO at the COJ, “Over the years, we have consistently worked to bring our registration process into alignment with international standards, which means that they have become simpler and less time-consuming for our clients. The achievement of this ISO certification is an indication that we have mapped our processes to achieve efficiency. It’s not just COJ saying we are making the processes better. It’s an external international entity validating that we are observing international best practices.”
The agency’s ISO certification is in line with the Government’s mandate to create a more capable and efficient client-focused public sector. Ramlogan noted that “the goal is to always improve on the customer experience and the certification highlights our efforts. As we went through the implementation of our quality management system, we were able to identify bottlenecks and challenges, and develop strategies aimed at addressing them.”
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Audley Shaw, minister of industry, investment and commerce, in commending the COJ, stated: “This certification will allow the COJ to operate based on international best practices. While this does not guarantee that its service will always be perfect, it means the organisation has put in place the quality- management system to identify and correct any weakness identified.”
Shaw encouraged other government agencies to get certified in order to improve their standards and provide quality to customers. “MDAs which are unable to produce a high-quality public service become a liability to the Government due to adverse public reaction. That is why, as the minister under whose portfolio standards fall, I am pleased to share in the handover of this ISO certificate to the second agency under my ministry to successfully implement the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems and become ISO 9001 certified,” Shaw noted.
Constrained by office space and a largely manual process, owing to the acts under which the agency operates, the COJ sees the newly minted certification as a plus that will help to improve and streamline its online service offerings to customers. “This certification will further help us to streamline our processes and will allow easier transition to an online platform that will offer the majority of COJ’s services. As we move online, we can better utilise the physical space we have to create operational efficiencies which will best serve all stakeholders” Ramlogan stated.