Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) at the Ministry of Finance
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially launched the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) at the Ministry of Finance in Monrovia, with a commitment to continue adopting measures that would consolidate the gains government has made in transforming the public financial management (PFM)sector.
Cataloging the progress since 2006, the President said the government, working with its partners, has over the last five years scaled up its investment in public financial management reforms through the adoption of laws and regulations, creating and strengthening accountability institutions. The Liberian leader said the government has also adopted standard public financial management practices and procedures, acquired the needed technology, and trained public financial management practitioners. Government, she said, has also strengthened and capacitated the General Auditing Commission at the institutional level, allowing it to carry out its constitutional mandate as enshrined in the General Auditing Commission Act.
In a statement delivered Tuesday at the IFMIS ceremony, President Sirleaf recalled that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission has been enacted into law and is fully operational, and that the Public Procurement and Concession Commission has been restructured, and its procurement regulations adopted to make that body more responsive to the procurement dimensions of budget execution. “We have merged the Budget Bureau into the Ministry of Finance to reduce fragmentation and harmonize decision making and policy coordination. And the Expenditure Department of the Ministry of Finance has been restructured with an enhanced functionality for the Comptroller & Accountant General,” the Liberian leader asserted.
Her Excellency said the launch of the Integrated Financial Management Information System would address the complex budget process which continues to experience greater demand as the country’s resources envelope expands gradually. A multitude of needs, the President said, “are crowding the agenda, and addressing them through the budget requires a rapid response mechanism,” according to an Executive Mansion release, quoting the Liberian leader.
President Johnson Sirleaf said it was her expectation that with the launch of IFMIS, budget preparation and execution will be faster. The urgent demand for financing the country’s development priorities, the President maintained, cannot tolerate the usual delays that characterize the old manual system.
By introducing IFMIS, the President said, “Liberia can now stand shoulder to shoulder with many countries, far and near, and can boast of a robust public financial management system with attendant budget efficiency capabilities and optimum controls.”
The Liberian leader described the inauguration of the system as the latest in “an impressive line-up of reform measures being undertaken in the public financial management sector. When similar achievements in other sectors are taken into consideration, she said, “there is no doubt that our reform agenda remains on course.”
Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan lauded the Liberian leader for the support government has provided toward the successful establishment of the program. The Minister also thanked the country’s partners, particularly the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for the incentives they have provided toward the country’s reform program.
The two institutions, through a project arrangement, provided grants for the installation and implementation of the new system. Its implementation, said Minister Ngafuan, will further enhance government’s credibility with its citizens and development partners, and demonstrate its continuous commitment to transparency and accountability.The Deputy Minister for the Budget, the World Bank’s Country Representative and the Director-General of the Civil Service Agency were among the speakers at Tuesday’s event. All spoke of the significance of IFMIS and its benefits towards transparency, accountability and efficiency.
The IFMIS is a computerized budget management and accounting system that automates key aspects of budget preparation, execution, accounting, reporting and human resource management in ministries and agencies. It will initially be implemented in the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service Agency. In the first phase, connectivity will also be provided to the Central Bank of Liberia and the General Auditing Commission for bank reconciliation and auditing purposes, respectively.
Source: Liberian Government