An Electronic Criminal Record Certificate service was added on a long list of government services that are delivered online.
The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) in collaboration with RwandaOnline – a local technology company that runs e-government services, launched the service on Monday.
Despite existence of online services on Irembo, Rwandans needing a criminal record certificate had until last Friday had to go through a long and rigorous manual and online application process and yet spend money.
For instance, one had to fill a criminal record application form online, pay Rwf1200 using mobile payment, wait for three days to go and pick up a criminal record on a piece of paper at the prosecution offices.
Statistics from NPPA show that at least 67,000 citizens apply for the certificate annually, or 5,584 people per month or 253 per day.
Jean Bosco Mutangana, the NPPA Prosecutor General said that this number is big to handle and at times the citizens have been unnecessary delayed due to the manual mechanism of application yet Rwanda strives to be an ‘ICT Hub’.
“The e-certificate service will start as soon as now. It will take us two to three weeks to fully shift from the manual to this digital service but it has been long awaited and it will reduce the number of people queuing for the service,” said Jean Bosco Mutangana, the NPPA Prosecutor General.
An applicant will need to go through Irembo platform as usual and follow procedures. A short message will be sent to his phone or an e-mail which they will present to whom it may concern.
“The goal is to have zero paper and zero trip for citizens. The process of application will require one to apply online for now, but we are also considering inclusive services which will take care of citizens with USSD phones,” said Faith Keza the CEO of RwandaOnline.
Keza noted that the Rwf1200 charged by government to get this certificate will not change. However, the use of 4000 irembo agents countrywide will be essential in ensuring the citizens without internet skills are helped to apply at a fee of Rwf500 and Rwf150 in Kigali and rural areas respectively.
The e-Criminal record certificate service joins a list of other similar paperless services provided by the Irembo platform.
Other online services include application for a birth, marriage certificate, Community Based Health Insurance (Mutuelle de Sante) among others.
With over 1,800 government workers blacklisted as of June 2018, the e-service comes with positive sides.
According NPPA the service will not exclude anyone applying for it, whether their criminal record is tainted or not.
For Rwandans living outside Rwanda, they will be required to apply for the certificate through their respective embassies.