Accountant General's Department modernising management of public fundsSaturday, September 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Accountant General's Department (AGD), through the Public Sector Transformation Project, says it is modernising its approach to managing public funds.
Through ongoing technological developments of the Central Treasury Management System (CTMS) the AGD is now able to provide its stakeholders with an automated user experience, and improved processing and transactions services.
The CTMS is the medium through which the Government consolidates its cash management operations, which is overseen by the Accountant General.
Since 2018, the CTMS has undergone a series of improvement exercises via a Public Financial Management Reform Programme that have led to an increase in the Government's efficacious treatment of public funds, Accountant General, Anya Jones, said.
She noted that a major enhancement of the CTMS was the establishment of the Government Financial Management System (GFMS).
Jones explained that the GFMS is a web-based tool designed to boost support, and the efficiency of maintenance activities of the Central Treasury Management System.
“The establishment of the GFMS has led to better public financial management activities, automation of user experience and strengthened security and access controls. It has allowed the AGD to accomplish a transition from manually entering payments via journal vouchers,” she noted.
She said that the Public Financial Management Reform Programme was executed as part of the Government's Public Transformation Project and made possible through a financial agreement with the European Union in 2018.
“The Government was provided with the budgetary support and technical assistance to undertake a comprehensive programme to improve efficiency and build confidence in the country's treasury operations,” she noted.
Jones said that over the last three years, the Government has been able to successfully transfer all ministries to the CTMS and they are benefitting from the platform.
“Through the GFMS, the needs of the ministries in respect of executing budgeted expenditure can be addressed adequately and on time. Additionally, the ministries' risk of exceeding their warrant balances has been lessened through the implementation and strengthening of automated warrant controls. As a result, there is a further increase in the proper execution of budget and allocation of public cash resources,” she shared.
“We are extremely pleased to see that ministries have taken major strides in getting executive agencies such as Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) and Mines and Geology, to successfully utilise the CTMS in their efforts to improve expenditure reporting. Consequently, this leads to an accurate reflection of their financial position,” Jones added.
As it relates to automation of user experience on the platform, the Accountant General said that this is an advancement, which conveys a modernised approach to the Government's public financial management systems.
According to Jones, the use of an automated experience also allows the AGD to initiate processes that effectively encourage compliance among ministries with public financial management practices.
“We welcome the modernisation of our systems and look forward to continued improvement as we seek to accomplish the targets under the Public Financial Management Reform Programme,” she said.
The AGD is an operational department within the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and is charged with facilitating and reporting of the flow of funds within the public sector.
It has responsibility for the management and custodianship of the Consolidated Fund, which is the principal instrument of Parliamentary Control of Public Monies.
The Department is required to administer the payment of salaries to employees of 13 Ministries and Departments; and the payment of pensions and gratuities to former employees of the Government of Jamaica and their dependents.