The Acting Permanent Secretary of Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame, has said that the government will give the Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property autonomous status to improve its operational efficiency and effectiveness in delivering on its mandate.
The acting PS told Sunday Standard that the new Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) Act was passed by Parliament in September 2011 and added that the Board of CIPA and CEO positions were graded in December 2011.
Serame pointed out that “four pieces of legislation currently under the ambit of ROCIP Amendment Bill will be presented to Parliament in July 2012 to operationalise CIPA”.
She said the mandate of the new organization (CIPA) is to register businesses and protect intellectual property rights through the administration of the following four pieces of legislation: the Companies Act, the Registration of Business Names Act, the Industrial Property Act and the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act.
“This is in line with government’s overall policy of relieving itself of organizations, which have the potential to sustain themselves. We also want to retain and attract personnel with the requisite skills, including lawyers that can deal with legal and complex issues that arise from the implementation of four pieces of legislation under its ambit,” she said.
Among other things, she said relevant stakeholders that take part in the upcoming development are the private sector, legal practitioners, company secretaries, independent departments and business community and other person(s) who consider themselves relevant are also engaged as the advert for board members also covers a wide range of stakeholders.
“We want to function as a financial self-sustainable Authority and also to improve the level of awareness of intellectual property as potential areas for economic diversification,” she explained.
Serame expressed optimism that the autonomy will enable the Authority to improve and enhance its automated systems to enable online registration in digitized environment, including the retention of requisite skills to manpower the system. She further revealed that the autonomy will be able to strategically enter into partnership with organizations, like BotswanaPost, to decentralize its services and pay for certain services.
Highlighting the challenges, she said there is currently a shortage of resources as the office has to work within government processes, procedures and limited budget. She stated that centralized services currently operate in three areas only.