The coordinator for the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning expresses optimism that the inclusion of 50 government ministries, agencies and commissions into the system would help reduce allegations of corruption in the public sector.
Addressing the close of a four-day IFMIS and MTEF training workshop in Monrovia, Mr. Gus B. Freeman says the two systems are key instruments for the country's public financial management reform process.
IFMIS is an automated system that is used for public financial management. It interlinks planning, budgeting, expenditure management and control, accounting, audit and reporting.
"Presently, we have 50 institutions of government that are linked on the IFMIS system which helps to reduce human interaction with documents, but promotes online transmission," Freeman explains.
He says the training took into consideration emergence of new comptrollers, senior accountants and procurement directors in the public service for whom the training was necessary.
He notes that the exercise was also based on reports by anti-graft institutions, which often allege corruption, a situation that points to human interaction that can be prevented by use of the automated system.
"We feel that the IFMIS system actually gives a kind of automated interlink where people do their budgeting, planning, implementation and report." Held under the auspices of the African Development Bank, the training brought together 22 financial managers from heavily spending ministries, agencies and commissions of the Government of Liberia.
Making remarks, D. Wah Hne, Deputy Director General of the Liberia Institute for Public Administration admonishes trainees to make good use of the knowledge acquired by helping to transform the financial management processes in their various institutions.
However, he frowns on misinterpretation of the government's development roadmap Pro Poor, noting, "Unlike the negative interpretation given the Pro Poor Agenda, the agenda seeks to lift Liberians from poverty to prosperity."
The deputy LIPA boss did not say how government intends achieving this overly publicized agenda, which almost every activity in government is being tied around.
Lecturers for the four-day event which began Wednesday last week and closed Tuesday, included former Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, Anthony Myers and Kofi Benson.The training was held at the Old CID Road training complex of LIPA in Mamba Point, Monrovia.
--Editing by Jonathan Browne