ESP notes progress in financial system

The East Sepik Provincial Government has progressed in setting up the Integrated Financial Management System.

During its 2019 budget handover early this week, Governor Allan Bird spoke highly of the system, saying it comes at a time when his government is focused on building its capacity in governance and public service.

At the presentation of the East Sepik Province 2019 budget to Treasury, Governor Allan Bird commended the national government for implementing the Integrated Financial Management System, which will help the provincial government physically implement its budget this year.

“MPs will be able to see how LLG funds are being utilised,” said Bird.

“The IFMS is a significant improvement in transparency. It will help us in terms of how we physically implement the budget. I am positive that if we write a K500,000 cheque, I want us to be able to chase it all the way to whichever ward its being spent in, in order to enable us to measure performance.”

East Sepik is one of six provinces piloting the IFMS – an IT-based budgeting and accounting system that manages spending, payment processing, budgeting and reporting for governments.

National Treasurer Charles Abel agreed that the IFMS will facilitate speedy implementation of budgets with a more visibility of what’s happening on the ground.

“A lot of (it) relies heavily on the input of users, putting in accurate and timely information as, otherwise no matter how good a system is, it’s the use of the system that is (the challenge).”

This week, a team from the Finance Department were in Wewak to set up the system and train district and finance managers to use the system.

Meantime, Governor Bird presented the province’s 2019 budget of K232,900,000.

Governor Bird was happy to report that the province has increased its internal revenue from K5 million in 2017 to K21 million in 2018.

He said the reforms his government was able to implement in one year, means they can put more funding to improve public services like police, and land mobilisation in order to move significant agriculture projects like rice and oil palm.

Salome Vincent