Director`s Forward

Ridley M Joseph
Director and Registrar

Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives & Business Development Service

As the Director and Registrar of Cooperatives, I stand firmly to echo and adopt the aim set by the International Cooperative Alliance for the Cooperative Movement in Vanuatu;

1. Be acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental stability

2. To be the Model preferred by people
3. To be the Fastest growing form of enterprise by 2020

Strategically we can achieve by

1. Participation – participation of members and governance to new level
2. Sustainability – position cooperatives as builders of sustainability
3. Identity – build cooperative message and secure cooperative identity
4. Legal Framework – ensure supportive legal frameworks for cooperative growth
5. Capital – secure reliable cooperative capital while guaranteeing member control

To Enhance ORCBDS services to clients, ICT is a positive contributor. To have a global cooperative identity, cooperatives need ICT;

1. Only coops can use it
2. Its ethical
3. Stand out on the web
4. Marketing power
5. Be discovered
6. Be recognized
7. A domain that suits you
For Vanuatu Cooperative Movement, let’s create the IMPACT and VISIBILITY.

Senior Management

Ridley M Joseph

Joe Iauko
Manager Finance & Compliance
Assistant Registrar

Clentine Ronson
Manager Provincial Operation
Assistant Registrar

Karldon Sam
Manager Training Communication & Research

The Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives & Business Development Services (ORCBDS) is a public service office holder appointed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) under the Cooperative Act 1986, Cap 152 (COSO Act). Mr Ridley M. Joseph was appointed to the position on March 2015.
The Registrar's office supports and regulates the Coop Societies that are incorporated under the Act. It does this in a variety of ways: by advising them on how to incorporate, by training committees, members and key staff in good corporate governance, by making sure they comply with the law and by intervening when needed.
About the Registrar


The Registrar of Cooperatives & Business Development Services (ORCBDS) is a statutory holder of the Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives appointed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) under the Cooperative Act 1986, Cap 152 (COSO Act). Mr Ridley M. Joseph was appointed to the position on March 2015.


As a statutory office holder responsible for the administration of the COSO Act, the Registrar has powers to intervene that are similar to those exercised by the Vanuatu statutory bodies
An office of staff, known as the Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives & Business Development Services, has been set up to help the Registrar administer the COSO Act and to support and regulate Cooperatives Societies for people throughout Vanuatu. ORCBDS also provides an avenue for new Cooperatives, delivering a tailored service that responds to the special needs of Community groups and small businesses, and striving for national and international best practice in cooperative governance.
ORCBDS was previously known as the Department of Cooperatives & Ni-Vanuatu The name ORCBDS was adopted from Nov 2012.


Our purpose is to effectively administer the COSO Act, which requires us to:

  •  Register Cooperative Societies that want to become Cooperative business
  • Help Ni-Vans Businesses run properly, according to their own rules and cultures, and to make sure they don't break the law
  • Offer support, advice and training to help Coop Societies do the best job for their communities.

In a manner consistent with principles of sound Cooperative governance and in the context of current and emerging Vanuatu and international law and practice on good Cooperative governance.


The Registrar of Cooperative Societies (the registrar) is a position created under the Cooperative Societies Act CAP 152, under the

Minister of Cooperative and Ni-Vanuatu Business Development Services.Office of the Registrar of Cooperative societies which is known as the Department of cooperative Societies and Ni-Vanuatu Business Development Services (ORCBDS) supports the registrar to regulate and deliver services to Cooperative societies registered under the Cooperative societies Act CAP 152.


The Cooperative Societies Act is the set of laws that establishes the registrar of the Cooperative Societies and allows community groups to form Cooperative Societies.

The COSO Act delivers modern corporate governance standards but still provides special measures to suits the need for members and communities. This means Societies will always be owned and controlled by its members.

The Registrar provides a range of services, including extensive training and public education to support Societies. The COSO Act sets out what services and functions the Registrar provides, as well as what powers the Registrar has to enforce the Law.

Vanuatu Communities Building Strong Communities through Cooperative Societies.
Strong Corperations, Strong People, Strong Communities

We aim to;
  • help Societies to operate in an effective, sustainable and accountable manner

  • Provide certainty:
  • for the members, officers and employees of societies in their  dealings with the Society and each other

  • for people outside societies in their dealings with those societies
  • Take Ni-Vanuatu communities tradition into consideration
  • Ensure that public information about Cooperative Societies is available on our public register.

Independence – the Registrar is independent

Integrity – we manage our relationships and provide our services honestly and ethically.

Respect - We acknowledge all citizens of Vanuatu and respect their cultures, traditions, views and ways of life. We are continuously developing our understanding about the provincial diversity and cultures.

Commitment – we are committed to helping Ni-Vanuatu people build self-determination and achieve results.

Accountability – we take responsibility for every decision that is central to our own good governance.

Learning – ORCBDS learns from its mistakes and builds on what it does right.

Professionalism – We behave ethically and honestly and uphold confidentiality. We focus on results, work productively and constantly build our expertise.

ORCBDS is part of the Ministry of Cooperative and Ni-Vanuatu Business and also fosters its values.


Building sustainability – Encouraging Societies to adopt good practices in management and governance to make the most of their resources and help them achieve their purpose.

Supporting Ni-Vanuatu ownership and control – Recognising the benefits of community control in community development.

Promoting accountability - Raising awareness that it is good governance and business practice to be answerable to members.

Managing conflict and disputes – Helping corporations to resolve conflicts and develop effective conflict resolution processes to deal with future challenges.

Fitting with Culture - Making sure that incorporation models, processes and support services fit within the specific culture of the community and locality, and that any dealings with Societies are relevant within the context.

Shaping our services – Tailoring our information and services to the needs of our clients and making sure that they are easy to access and use.

Building Capability - Equipping corporations, their directors and members with the necessary skills and knowledge to help build the sustainability of corporations and take control of their economic development.

ORCBDS supports and regulates Societies according to the COSO Act and the policy statements by the Ministry of Cooperative and Ni-Vanuatu Business.

Registering Cooperative Societies
  • Promote responsible registration
  • Provide information and advice to cooperative societies, groups and communities wanting to incorporate
  • Help societies design their own by-laws to support good governance.

Regulation Corporations
We are an active regulator, we:

  • Ensure that societies follow the law
  • Assess the governance standards of corporations and take remedial action where necessary
  • Investigate poor conduct and take necessary action against illegal activity
  • Intervene when needed, and ensure that appropriate action is taken to protect good governance.
Resolving Disputes and Complaints
We help to:
  - Resolve governance difficulties, disputes and member complaints.

Public Education and information

- Provide corporate governance training and business
-Compile and distribute information, publications and resources on good corporate governance

-Share information and good news stories, and promote best practice.

Research and Policy
We carry out research:
n the Registrar’s statutory functions and services to assess how they affect societies
- Into corporations registered under the COSO Act to demonstrate the important role they play in providing essential services for               their communities.
We contribute:
-To policy development and best practice in corporate governance.

Assistance and support
• Identify and respond to the needs of societies with a range of support services, such as our pro bono legal service, law help and recruitment assistance that helps with recruitment, audit services and building good staff management practices.
• Investigate opportunities and new services that align with our administration of the COSO Act while also providing real outcomes for Ni-Vanuatu People.



  • Provide affordable micro-finance to our clients at reasonable interest rates
  • Provide training and financial literacy to rural communities


Cooperative societies are important in communities and Vanuatu society. In recognition of this, we will continue to increase public confidence in the Standards of corporate governance and viability of Ni –Vanuatu cooperative societies by:

  • administering the COSO Act in an effective and efficient manner
  • focusing regulatory activities on early identification of issues, early intervention, and prompt and fair resolution
  • working with the Vanuatu government to achieve meaningful outcomes and close the gap in Ni-Vanuatu Community disadvantage
  • building the capacity and self-reliance of Cooperative Societies, people and communities
  • providing policy advice to the Ministry of Cooperative and Ni-Vanuatu
  • providing quality service and building good relationships with our clients and stakeholders
  • making ourselves accessible to Ni-Vanuatu communities by establishing and providing staff in provincial locations
  • undertaking research on Ni-Vanuatu Cooperative Societies
  • identifying new functions that complement ORCBDS existing functions
  • Measuring the effect of ORCBDS regulation, services and assistance on Ni-Vanuatu Cooperative Societies.
  • Undertaking a review of the COSO Act.


We make the report available about the registrar, our activities and performance to clients and stakeholders through:

  • annual reporting on outcomes of the Registrar’s activities in the MCN VBS annual report
  • submissions to, and appearances before, parliament inquiries and committees
  • regular media releases on key activities
  • regular media releases on key activities
  • the Registrar annual report, ORCBDS website, ORCBDS quarterly

Newsletter and other publications

The registrar also regularly seeks feedback on ORCBDS services. Clients and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in opportunities such as corporate events and client surveys. Societies, stakeholders and members of the public can make complaints about ORCBDS or its services by contacting ORCBDS.


Monday 18 March 2019