A two day retreat that brought together stakeholders in the financial sector has ended in Careysburg, Montserrado County. The retreat focused on the implementation of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). The IFMIS will automate the processing of government financial transactions.
During the retreat, the participants re-affirmed that IFMIS will “go live” on July 1, 2011. Stakeholders attending the retreat from the General Auditing Commission, Central Bank of Liberia, Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service Agency agreed that efforts would be exerted to ensure that the system goes live as planned.
The participants also agreed that a parallel run of the IFMIS System for processing of transactions alongside the existing systems will be carried out for three months from April to June 2011.
The participants were in agreement that it is important to conduct functional and technical system training for Government of Liberia employees who will operate the IFMIS. The initial phase of the training is currently ongoing and is expected to be completed at end of March this year.
The IFMIS retreat held at the WULKI’S Farm in Careysburg was also aimed at redefining the roles and responsibilities of the various work groups supporting the IFMIS implementation in an attempt to improve their efficiency in meeting the deadline for the system to “go live”. The retreat agreed on a number of significant changes, including re-organisation of the teams, to improve the operations of the workgroups.
Speaking during the opening session, Assistant Minister of Finance for Expenditure and Debt Management, Mathew T.K. Flomo lauded the project team for their relentless effort in revamping the financial management system of Liberia. Assistant Minister Flomo stressed the need for the involvement of all work groups and the Project Management Team members in the implementation of activities of the project.
For his part, the Project Manager of IFMIS Project James Onyoin said he was sure that with additional funding from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the level of commitment being shown by all stakeholders the IFMIS System will “go live” on July 1, 2011. The IFMIS Project initially commenced operations with a grant from the World Bank and support from Government of Liberia.
Mr.Onyoin said implementation arrangements are well on course but warned that the procurement process for the grounding and earthing of equipment for the IFMIS infrastructure remains a major challenge.
It was earlier noted that the buildings on which the equipment has been deployed need to be grounded to protect the equipment from power surges and lightening spikes. He requested government and the development partners to expedite the completion of this activity.
Several presentations on Public Financial Management Reforms were made at the retreat by the Comptroller and Accountant General of Liberia John B.S. Davis III, Financial management Specialists Stephen Barungi and Herbert Soper, Financial Management Officers of the IFMIS Project Stephen Joe-Joe and Derek Hill among others.