09/08/2002

Companies Register goes online for e-business

A government resource, which holds information on 50,000 companies, is set to join the electronic age and become an e-business.

Companies Registry, which is located in Chichester Street, Belfast, holds information on limited companies in Northern Ireland including annual accounts, assets and details of directors.

Enterprise Minister Sir Reg Empey said the move promotes an e-business delivery service which forms part of a "modern economy".

"These proposals will benefit the entire business community by providing quicker and cost-effective access to the Northern Ireland Companies Registry and by developing new business intelligence products to meet emerging customer needs," he said.

The Registry provides a registration and information service on limited companies based in Northern Ireland. At present all company documents filed with the Registry are received and stored in paper form.

The proposed "e-Companies Registry Service" will use e-business technology to give customers access to company files and information via the Internet and a call centre. This will result in faster and wider access to Registry information and reduce the cost of doing business with the Registry. The new "e-Registry" will be phased-in from 2003 to be fully operational by 2005.

Sir Reg added: "Companies Registry is used by a wide range of customers including investors, financial consultants, business analysts and the media. This move to e-government is presently at the consultation stage and I would encourage all who use the service to make their views on the proposed development known, so that the new service meets exactly the needs of its customers."

Feargal McCormack, chairman of the Ulster Society of Chartered Accountants, welcomed the Northern Ireland Companies Registry's plans to become an e-business.

Mr McCormack said: "Success in today's economy demands a high-performance, customer-focused approach to business, and the registry's plans are totally in line with that philosophy."

Responses to the consultation document, which is available on the DETI website, should be received no later than August 30.

(GMcG)

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