Government services have not had the best of reputations in the past. They’ve been synonymous with either poor service, slow service or no service at all. Anyone who wanted to deal with a government department had to brace themselves for this and unfortunately, be ready to contend with some passing of money here and there in order to speed up things.
Tales are told of Government officers who just showed up in the office in the morning, hung their coats, and proceeded to leave their desks for the rest of the day without a care as to who would take care of their duties. This lethargy among civil servants was this close to completely crippling the entire civil service and it was spread out throughout the country.
In any normally functioning society, such behavior can only last so long before people get restless and say enough is enough. Furthermore, with advancement in telecommunication and technology, citizens have so many avenues through which to make enough noise until governments hear them. The blazing speed with which technology is covering just about every aspect of life leaves little choice for entities but to adapt and with this same technology, Governments also have better and more efficient avenues with which to dispense services.
There is good news towards this. Government has partnered with Safaricom to ease payment of fees for some services by introducing the Paybill number 206206. This they are doing through the website eCitizen where citizens can access services online and then pay via Mpesa Paybill. All from the comfort of their homes! Having used quite a bit of the old systems in the past, I cannot express my appreciation of this improvement.
Registering on the eCitizen website is as easy as 1,2,3. It took me under 5 minutes to fully register and be able to access the dashboard. With just your ID number and first name, the system is already able to unearth a hilarious passport photo of yourself that already exists within Government records. That will be you when you were applying for your national ID. Don’t worry about this though. Further into the process there is a function for you to change to a more current photo.
The system then takes you through 2 step verification. The first is email where they send a link to the email you’ll have provided, and the second is via SMS where they send a code to your phone. I felt that this is a very secure system and there is no going wrong.
After that short registration process, you officially into the system where you can go through the services and pick the one that interests you. Here are the services that you can access online and pay for via Paybill Number 206206.
- Provisional DL
- Test Booking
- Interim DL
- Duplicate DL
- Renewal of DL
- Driving Class
- Land Rents
- Land search
- Passport/Visa/Travel permits
- Registration of birth
- Death Certificate
- Business Name Registration
This development is timely and more than welcome. Other than inconvenience of the highest order in regards to the endless queues that were synonymous with government offices, one of the biggest problem areas that opened Government transactions wide open to abuse is the exchange of cash. This can be effectively curtailed by the new digitized payment system.