Proposed Kshs. 1 Million IPRS Annual Subscription Fee Could Stifle Innovation

*Dear Listers*,
The government recently, through the State Department of Immigration and
Citizen Services, revised the charges of some of its services
including the *IPRS
*charges as shown below:
[image: image.png]
The *Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS)* is a *centralized
database* that serves as the authoritative source of information on all
registered individuals residing in Kenya, including both *citizens
*and *foreign
nationals*. It provides automated services for verifying *national
identification numbers* and* passport numbers* for both government and
private entities, majorly the financial sector (banks) and
telecommunications companies (Safaricom and Airtel).

The applications of these services extend far beyond the financial and
telecommunications sectors, with a *vast array of potential use cases*.
However, the *introduction of a Ksh. 1 Million annual subscription fee and
the hike in the verification fee from Ksh. 5 to Ksh. 20 *raise concerns
about the accessibility of these services for* startups and smaller

Due to the public outcry, the government revoked this gazette notice and
published a new one with minimal changes, IPRS charges remaining the same.
Now the Ministry of Interior has invited *public participation* on the
proposed charges which can be submitted via email
<> * on or before *8th Dec, 2023*.

In my view, they should consider the approach by the *Office of the Data
Protection Commissioner *where private sector companies are categorized in
terms of their *annual turnover* and *number of employees* so as to be
inclusive to start-ups.

That said, the Ksh. 1 Million annual subscription is still too high and
should be revised downwards. It is rare for a *Software of a Service to
charge both a “Subscription Fee” and “Per Service Fee”.* They should
consider getting rid of the “Subscription Fee” altogether and also *reduce
the “Verification Fee” to at most Ksh. 5*.

*I will appreciate your perspectives on this matter*. Looking forward to
your input.