The Federal Documents Authentication and Registration Agency (DARA), has started queuing service requests relating to the authentication and registration of immovable sale contracts online. Customers can now fill out application forms online by logging on to the Agency website and receiving a queue. The service requests entered will be handled according to their wait line number when the Agency resumes its authentication and registration of immovable sale contract service in the coming weeks. The online queue that was started last week aims to organize and minimize backlog cases and walk-in customers as the Agency has temporarily stopped giving services related to the sale of immovable as of June 24, 2020. The Agency that serves around 6000 customers a day in its 15 branches decided to stop giving the service as the recent cases of the Novel Coronavirus spiked in the country. "Since a lot of people come to our offices in a single day something had to be done, or else we were exposing our customers to a health risk," said Muluken Amare, general director of Director the Agency that has around 700 workers. As a single contact made related to the sale of immovable brings at least four people to the office, the seller, buyer, and two witnesses, the Agency believed temporarily cutting the service to be a fitting solution to the problem while keeping its other services going. So far, 900 requests had been entered, and the Agency expects the number to rise. However, the Agency notes that the entered information online has to match the documents to be authenticated, or else the clients won't get the service. The Online queue service is an extension of the Agency's digitization project dubbed Documents Authentication & Registration Information System. Developed by Custor Computing Plc at the cost of 5.3 million birr, the Agency had been taking its operations online since June 2018 and had been continuously digitizing most of its services one by one. Begging from March 2020, the Agency also introduced a Quick Response code (QR code) in its document authentication and registration operation. Launched to tackle forgery and illegal actions, the QR Codes are printed on authenticated power of attorney documents. Any interested person can scan the code and verify whether the authenticated document has been confirmed and released by the Agency. The system we have is fully capable of taking all of our operations online, and we are working on adding more features, said Muluken. The Agency that is responsible for authentications power of attorney documents, contractual agreements, and reconciliation of records believes that digitalizing operations significantly decreases the number of reappearances customers make at the Agency and reduce the time it requires to get a service. Muluken says the Agency will resume authentication and registration of immovable sale contracts service soon after cutting other services. He argues that returning to full operations will still bring too many customers to the office, making social distancing and protective measures impossible to implement. "We are currently studying which of our services we can temporarily stop and bring back the services we stopped," said Muluken. In the past fiscal year that just ended, the Agency collected 510 million Br serving 1.4 million customers both in-person and online.