IFMIS Goes Live Today
Tuesday, 12th July 2011
Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe NgafuanThe Ministry of Finance has announced the formal launch of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). The announcement of this momentous event was made on Monday, July 11 at the Ministry of Finance by the Comptroller and Accountant General, John B. S. Davies during a press conference.
According to the Comptroller General, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will formally launch IFMIS on Tuesday morning.
He said President Sirleaf along with other senior government officials and the Minister of Finance Augustine Ngafuan will be taken on a guarded tour of IFMIS installation around the ministry.
Mr. Davies stated that the process of effecting IFMIS has been ongoing for a while and includes the introduction of the Chart of Accounts in October 2011 which transformed the single entry accounting system to a double entry accounting system (unified accounting function).
The Comptroller General further highlighted several benefits of IFMIS.
He revealed that the launch of IFMIS this month will integrate the budget process and make it easier for the Comptroller General to seamlessly execute his duties.
The comptroller further revealed the system will link all the computers and enhance the ability to make reports in a timely fashion; considerably reduce the amount of time spent as compared to the amount of time consumed manually on vouchers; and place all vendors on the same platform which makes it easier to track all transaction with vendors.
IFMIS is a computerized budget management system that automates key aspects of budget preparation, execution, accounting, and reporting and human resource management.
IFMIS is designed to make use of modern information and communication technologies to help the Government of Liberia plans and uses its financial resources more efficiently and effectively.
The term IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management Information System) is generally used to describe a combination of software, hardware and communication technologies implemented to enable operation and management of key areas of government operations namely budget formulation and budget execution.
The budget formulation process occurs at both macro level (policy, planning and over all resource plans) and the micro level (program formulation, detailed planning and detailed resource allocation).
The process takes place under a budget framework defined and agreed upon based on the overall policies and targets of the government.
Budget execution on the other hand focuses on implementing the budget and tracking performance. A major aspect of budget execution is the allocation, disbursement and tracking of financial resources governed by a strict set of regulations and compliance requirements and is subject to both internal and external oversight.
Other aspects of budget execution entail tracking of non-financial aspects, mostly related to outcomes of various planned activities.
According to Mr. Davies, IFMIS will initially be implemented in the Ministry of Finance, the Civil Service Agency and the General Auditing commission which will have access to all data on a timely basis.
Mr. Davies also stated that all measures have been put into place to ensure that the system is secured.
He stated that the system is strongly encrypted and there are safeguard measures against all forms of hacking and intrusion.
The World Bank, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Liberia are providing over 9 million United States Dollars as support to IFMIS.
Story: Horatio Bobby Willie & Phillip G. Innis