Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, says the launch of an Electronic Document Management System or EDMS by the Ministry will eventually become a game-changer for the Government of Liberia relative to handling public financial management system affairs.
“The EDMS is going to be a game-changer, and this launch is another milestone that shows that the country, and this government are moving in the right direction”, he notes and expresses delight that public financial management under the Weah administration is undergoing series of reforms.
Minister Tweah performed the official launch Thursday, July 30th, at Boulevard Palace Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia in partnership with a Liberian consulting group, Mwetana.
The Electronic Document Management System is an online platform that is intended to track and monitor all government ministries and agencies’ financial management systems.
Giving an overview of the project, Joseph S. Tarpeh explains the exercise is beginning with six government ministries, including Ministries of Foreign Affairs, State and Presidential Affairs, Public Works, Health, and Finance and Development Planning, respectively.
Mr. Tarpeh details that by directive of Minister Tweah, a technical working group was constituted, comprising of technicians from the department of accounting and comptroller general and administration, including stakeholders of the six ministries to work along with Mwetana group of consultants for enhancement of the EDMS.
According to him, the decision was based on continuous disclaimer and the Government of Liberia audit process mars by challenges, thus the EDMS would avoid duplication of entries and improve efficiency in government financial management processes.
“EDMS is intended to digitize all financial transactions emanating from the 107 GOL entities; agencies do not have to bring fiscal hard copy document to the Ministry of Finance anymore; all that is required is scan and send all the documents.”
Controller General Janga A. Kowo describes the launch of the platform as a testament of government’s desire to exposing financial malpractice, saying, “Every problem presents an opportunity, and this launch today is a testament of what commitment does, and we are glad to have this platform put in place.”
He adds that the EDMS is an attempt to correct some of the issues associated with execution of government budget, and public financial process, and that his office and the division of the comptroller general will work with all relevant stakeholders for smooth operation of the process.
“We want to salute our dynamic Minister of Finance for exercising the will to have this platform launched, and making sure that our office gets its independence in the disbursement of public funds.”
The CEO of Mwetana Consulting Group, Vivien C. Jones notes the EDMS provides consistency, and efficiency for the government, which means any transaction done in government will be carried out with consistency, and that no official or agency would transact financial matter single-handedly.
Mr. Jones says the platform gives the government an opportunity to check and verify issues that are unfolding at various entities and ministries. He says it makes no sense for an agency of government to purchase stationery materials on its own, but with the new platform, government can make a decision on how much should be spend on stationery something, he observes, will help government in its purchasing decision.
Commenting on his institution, he explains Mwetana has been around since 2004, providing digital service to government, and the private sector. However, Mr. Jones warns the notion that Liberians don’t have the capacity to do certain work should stop, stressing, Liberians have all the abilities to do whatever it takes.
“This initiative will change that way government operates in a different ways, because minister can just sit and sign checks without going to the office”, he adds.
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne