Friday, August 26, 2016

When roses are not rosy - Part I

When I was working with the government I used to receive complaints that some of the government laws were unrealistic. But as a servant of the government sworn to protect its interests I had to defend my own department, the state government and the federal ministries.

But when I retired and become a normal citizen, I realised that some of the grouses I received earlier do make sense. At the same time I realise that I have to serve two government departments instead of one like before. As a pensioner my master is the Pensions Division, Public Service Department (PSD). But as an official of two Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) my master is the Registrar of Societies (ROS). 

I have no problems with the former or PSD. It is the latter or ROS that boggled me at first. But everything turned out well thanks to my earlier experience working with the government.

It started when I was called by the chairman of my first NGO who showed me a yellow coloured letter he received from the local ROS. He had just appointed me as the association's Secretary a few months before. He asked me to go to the local ROS office to find out what the yellow leter was about.

So I went there and was told that my association had not been sending our annual returns to them for the past few years. To my advantage the returns are in the form of electronic data to be keyed in using the computer.

At the ROS office I saw officials of other NGOs with similar yellow coloured letters in their hands. They were also facing the same predicaments like me in that their associations were found not sending returns to the ROS. At one corner were a few persons (who I learned later were Secretaries of various NGOs) who were engrossed with computers. A few members of the ROS staff were also there attending to these computer users.

By the way the yellow letters function just like  the yellow cards we see in a football match. It is like a last warning meaning if we foul again we will be given a red letter and our association will be deregistered. In the football field a player shown the red card is ejected from the game and will normally receive further punishments from the football body.

My association was found not sending our electronic returns for a few years. The electronic system is called eROSES for Registrar of Societies Electronic System. The weird thing is the data should be filled by the person holding the post of Secretary for the unfulfilled years. In my association's case they were two past Secretaries and the ROS people told me to look for these two. What if they were in prison, in exile or even dead? That's my first smell of the roses.

Fortunately I have the personal data of every member of my association, including their full names, identity card numbers, addresses and phone numbers. So what did I do? I pretended that I was the past missing Secretaries. Using my own creation of their identities and passwords I filled the necessary data in the eROSES system. Since my association's membership data do not have provisions for email and since emails are mandatory for every committee member, I used my own email as their emails.

I did not have to fill the data at the ROS office. Furthermore during office hours it was hard to enter their eROSES program. So I entered my association's data of a few years at the comfort of my home normally at night.

To be continued.........

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