The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has automated its operations to enhance service delivery and receive real-time information to take regulatory decision.
As a result, the Commission has incorporated its services into a Database Management System (DBMS) to afford its stakeholders the opportunity to communicate with it electronically. This means that the public and the agencies being regulated would no longer have to travel to the offices of the PURC to lodge complaints or submit reports as these services have been moved online.
Speaking at the launch of the DBMS, the Executive Director of the PURC, Mami Dufie Ofori mentioned that the Commission is in a position to take timely decisions to enhance the utility sector.
“The features of this system are sure to open up the Commission’s services and the utility sector to stakeholders by ensuring easy access to data, enabling the Commission to access and disseminate the appropriate information and reports for effective decision making amongst many other outcomes,” she said.
The DBMS was made possible with the immense support of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) through the Korea Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund, which provided the funds to execute the project.
According to Mrs. Ofori there is no doubt that the move would enhance utility regulation in the country, so as to better ensure the sustainable provision of quality power, gas and water services. “We are proud to note that the establishment of the PURC DBMS is also in line with the overall digitization agenda of the government, aimed at boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of doing business in the country for accelerated socio-economic development,” she noted.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who was the guest of honour said implementing effective solutions to facilitate the functions of the utilities regulator is intended to protect the interest of both the consumer and providers of utility services.
She noted that, among many other things, effective regulation is based on having the right kind of information for effective decision making and getting the right kind of information depends on the ability to gather and aggregate the needed data, that can be analysed to provide useful information.
“In this fourth industrial revolution, the world is more connected than ever before through the use of ICTs, and data is being produced at an ever-increasing rate. Data is the basis of artificial Intelligence, and all the new technologies and applications coming up. Emerging technologies like IoT, Blockchain and more, are making use of vast amounts of data, making innovation possible and transforming the way we take decisions,” she said.
She added that the move is long overdue, considering that the mandate of the Commission under the PURC Act, 1997 (Act 538), largely revolves around the use of aggregated data from various stakeholders for the purposes of decision making.
“We are therefore looking forward to the completion of the establishment of the centralized DBMS for the PURC to enable the Commission improve their regulatory function as a matter of priority” she intimated.