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Use of Financial Management Information Systems to Improve Financial Management and Accountability in the Public Sector

Use of Financial Management Information Systems to Improve Financial Management and Accountability in the Public Sector

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Over the past few decades, governments and development agencies alike have invested
enormous financial and human resources into automating public financial management
(PFM) systems, and often the results have been less than hoped. Governments have had
difficulty implementing systems, and have not achieved desired functionality. And
development partners have invested large sums of money, only to find systems delayed in
implementation, having limited impact, and often with real challenges to the sustainability
of the systems.
On December 2-4, 2007, the International Consortium of Governmental Financial
Management (ICGFM) held a two-day workshop in Washington DC entitled "Use of
Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) to Improve Financial
Management and Accountability in the Public Sector". The conference goal was to
share current thinking on Public Financial Management (PFM) system automation, and
provide practical advice to those concerned with PFM implementation.
Over the past few decades, governments and development agencies alike have invested
enormous financial and human resources into automating public financial management
(PFM) systems, and often the results have been less than hoped. Governments have had
difficulty implementing systems, and have not achieved desired functionality. And
development partners have invested large sums of money, only to find systems delayed in
implementation, having limited impact, and often with real challenges to the sustainability
of the systems.
On December 2-4, 2007, the International Consortium of Governmental Financial
Management (ICGFM) held a two-day workshop in Washington DC entitled "Use of
Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) to Improve Financial
Management and Accountability in the Public Sector". The conference goal was to
share current thinking on Public Financial Management (PFM) system automation, and
provide practical advice to those concerned with PFM implementation.

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07/10/2013

 
162 International Journal on Governmental Financial Management 2008
Conference Proceedings
“Use of Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) toImprove Financial Management and Accountability in thePublic Sector”December 2007Washington, DC
 
International Journal on Governmental Financial Management 2008 163
Introduction
Over the past few decades, governments and development agencies alike have investedenormous financial and human resources into automating public financial management(PFM) systems, and often the results have been less than hoped. Governments have haddifficulty implementing systems, and have not achieved desired functionality. Anddevelopment partners have invested large sums of money, only to find systems delayed inimplementation, having limited impact, and often with real challenges to the sustainabilityof the systems.On December 2-4, 2007, the International Consortium of Governmental FinancialManagement (ICGFM) held a two-day workshop in Washington DC entitled "
Use of 
 
Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) to Improve FinancialManagement and Accountability in the Public Sector
". The conference goal was toshare current thinking on Public Financial Management (PFM) system automation, and provide practical advice to those concerned with PFM implementation.The event focused on the practical issues faced by Governments when designing andimplementing such systems. Key themes included:
The potential of IT to support development and poverty reduction
Creating context and conditions for successful implementation
Critical elements of a financial management information system design
Approaches to implementation and the application of new technologies
Enhancing transparency through effective use of a FMIS
Harvesting the benefits of integrating the FMIS into financial operationsOver 120 people from 28 countries attended.
Antigua andBarbuda
DominicanRepublic
Laos
Serbia andMontenegro
Argentina
Ethiopia
Malawi
Sierra Leone
Benin
Georgia
Moldova
South Africa
Brazil
Ghana
 Nigeria
Sudan
Cambodia
Haiti
Panama
Uganda
Canada
Honduras
Paraguay
United Kingdom
Colombia
India
Peru
United StatesAttendees comprised members of parliament, ministers of finance, accountants general,treasury officials and chief information officers. Overall feedback from the conference wasexcellent, with delegates giving the program strong marks for the usefulness of theinformation presented and the professional development. One comment from a participant
 
164 International Journal on Governmental Financial Management 2008
sums up the collective feedback “this was a very timely and useful conference, with very practical advice to anyone embarking on FMIS implementation.”
Fernando Fernandez from the Inter-American Development Bank delivers his key note opening 
The program was organized around four main themes – planning, design, implementationand impacts. Topics included how FMIS fits within the over-all PFM reform agenda; planning for FMIS development; FMIS design components; IT alternatives; projectmanagement; procurement; capacity building; and, harvesting benefits. There was also asession focused on the unique aspects of FMIS implementation in post conflict countries.Each topic was presented by a subject matter expert teamed with a country representativewho could relay specific experiences.
The FMIS Implementation Challenge
Generally, the objective of implementing a FMIS is to increase the effectiveness andefficiency of state financial management and facilitate the adoption of modern publicexpenditure practices in keeping with international standards and benchmarks.The Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) described the corefinancial system requirements
29
of a “good” system as the ability to:
Collect accurate, timely, complete, reliable and consistent information
Provide adequate management reporting
Support government-wide and agency policy decisions
Support budget preparation and execution
29
From Core Financial System Requirement – JFMIP-SR-02-01

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