In a bid to curb instances of human trafficking in the external employment services, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has developed a digital system to host all processes involved in labour exportation.
According to the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Mr. Pius Bigirimana, the External Employment Management Information System (EEMIS) has been designed to manage the entire application workflow ranging from submission of an application to go work abroad to approval.
“The current system largely involves the use of papers that are transited through the approval process. However with the new Information System we shall be able to do everything online including licensing of recruitment companies and handling applications for persons wishing to go and work abroad,” Mr Bigirimana revealed at a press conference held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Kampala.
He said the system will manage secure registration of users; application submission for license and job orders; managing the multi-agency vetting, inspection and approval workflows, training, monitoring, billing, user reports and auditing logging features.
The development is ongoing in stages and so far the Application Management Module that handles the initial expression of interest application, full license applications as well as processing of individual’s applications, has been completed.
“The benefits are enormous because we shall be able to electronically track every individual’s working contract, power of attorney letters, signed agreements, letter of demand and recommendation letter from the Uganda Association for Employment Recruitment Agencies (UAERA),” Bigirimana observed.
The same portal will detail a position the person is supposed to serve in, the responsible recruitment agency, category of service, salary payable, location of work station, all critical dates as well as extra benefits including medical insurance, food and accommodation, transportation, and life/accident insurance.
“The portal has provided for a possibility for applicants to monitor online the level at which their applications are and the status on whether it has been approved, rejected or pending” Mr. Bigirimana added.
He revealed that the Ministry has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NITA-U to securely host the External Employment Management Information System. Another will be signed with the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to match personal details of applicants.
The Ministry will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to track payments that will be made in the processes. Currently payments are made at the bank and hardcopies of receipts are transited through the process which slows down the turnaround time.
The Ministry is optimistic that the entire system development will be completed by the end of February, and Mr. Bigirimana noted that the processing time had improved, bringing down the vetting period from 21 to 14 days.
“Once the system is fully operational, the vetting period will further come down to a maximum of five days from the current fourteen” Mr Bigirimana noted.
Andrew Tumwine Kameraho, the Chairman of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agency (UAERA), commended the Ministry of Gender for the innovation saying it would greatly facilitate monitoring.
“I would like to thank the Permanent Secretary and the Ministry at large for putting in place this system which we are optimistic will enhance monitoring and improve efficiency,” Kameraho noted.