IFMIS DOWNTURN AFFECTS COUNTY ACTIVITIES
Some counties are still grappling with frequent breakdown of the Integrated Financial Management Systems (Ifmis), which has negatively affected operations.
Although most of the devolved units have adopted the system, the recurrent hitch is still a major concern for governors and even the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo.
In the last three financial years, Ms Odhiambo has asked the National Treasury to deal with the system interruptions and connectivity issues.
Ifmis is an automated system that enhances efficiency in the county and national governments financial planning, budgeting, procurement, expenditure, management and reporting.
Treasury prescribed Ifmis for processing of financial transactions in line with Section 12
(1) (e) of the Public Finance Management
Act, 2012 as its use enhances fiscal transparency, accountability and improves efficiency in public financial management.
The operational delay has also been affecting the approval of procurement requests and payments to suppliers and staff.
In the first half report of the 2018/18 Financial Year report, the COB recommended Treasury should stabilise the prescribed financial system to ensure uninterrupted financial processes by counties. “Further, the county Treasuries should liaise with the Ifmis directorate for support whenever faced with connectivity challenges.
The Ifmis downtime was also indicated as a reason for delayed financial reporting by the county treasuries,” Ms Odhiambo said.
Ifmis Director Stanley Kamangunya declined to comment on the issue when contacted. Some counties like Baringo, Isiolo, Kajiado and Bomet have improved their internet connectivity, which the system relies on to be operational. This resulted into its effectiveness.
But others like Homabay failed to process all payments through Ifmis and the internet banking platform.
“The county has continued to make financial transactions from bank accounts maintained in commercial banks through cheques,” said the COB.
However, Nandi, Nyamira, failed to reconcile the Ifmis payroll data with that from the Integrated Payroll Personnel Database for accurate reporting.
In 2016, Treasury concluded a countrywide training exercise aimed at equipping small and medium businesses with requisite knowledge to undertake online procurement.
Ifmis e-procurement was deployed to all ministries, departments and agencies, state corporations and the 58 counties with the aim of increasing transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.