Government Strengthens Prudent Financial Management Through Improved Financial Reporting Systems – FrontPageAfrica

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MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has rolled out a number of financial information systems improvements over the years which contribute significantly to the overall improvement of the systems. financial management of the country. These activities have been carried out in close consultation with our development partners for checks and balances and to emphasize our overall transparency agenda.

Recently, a team of World Bank experts concluded the compilation of the final draft of the amended PFM regulations after months of consultation with the Minister of Finance, Department of Fiscal Affairs, Office of the Comptroller General , Liberia Revenue Authorities Institutions of authority and integrity in the country. The amended regulations included tougher penalties to improve mandatory financial reporting and controls intended to reduce shortcomings in our revenue-generating systems.

The Ministry of Finance, through the Department of Fiscal Affairs and the Office of the Comptroller General, has introduced the Treasury Single Account (STA), which will serve as the platform for the receipt of all GoL revenue and facilitate the real-time reconciliation of income and expenditure. This platform will strengthen monitoring and evaluation by tax actors of revenue collection and disbursement of state resources and improve transparency and accountability in government.

In order to improve the documentation of financial transactions: including supporting documents and other documents that provide an audit trail for transactions, we have implemented the document management system which is being rolled out to ministries and government agencies. This instrument will serve as an automated storage of all transaction documentation and will help strengthen evidence during current and future transaction reviews. Our quest for improved documentation has borne tangible fruit, particularly in relation to prior year discrepancies identified during the audit of the consolidated financial statements. Please see the improvements listed in the chats below:

Audit 2016/2017 Audit 2017/2018 Audit 2018/2019 Audit 2019/2020
Disclaimer Opposing opinion Opposing opinion Opposing opinion
Consolidated revenue reconciliation report not provided for verification. US$88.98 million supporting documents for expenditure not provided for verification. $4.56 million supporting documents for expenditure not provided for verification. $881,000 proof of expenses not provided for audit.

While we recognize the need for continuous improvement of our records management systems in order to achieve full accountability, we applaud the efforts made to date and will continue to engender systems that will support the achievement of transparency. and responsibility.

Our desire to further strengthen judicious controls by relying on information and communication systems has led us to initiate a number of projects with our development partners. The World Bank, through its Public Financial Management Reforms for Institutional Strengthening Project (PFMRISP), has targeted a number of automated activities to be carried out during the life of this project. These activities include:

  • The expansion of IFMIS in all government ministries and agencies
  • Installation of fiber optic connection to support IFMIS operations in 50% of all government ministries and agencies.
  • The budget module roll-up in IFMIS
  • The establishment of the electronic funds transfer system between the Central Bank of Liberia and the Office of the Comptroller and Accountant General
  • And the implementation of e-procurement in all ministries and government agencies

The World Bank-funded Integrated Tax Administration System Project (ITASP) at the Liberia Revenue Authority has also concluded business process re-engineering activities to upgrade and extend the ASYCUDA (Revenue Reporting) software to all entry points to the country. The upgrade and expansion phase which should begin soon will be followed by a stabilization phase to include the effective operationalization of the software at the various expansion sites.

The World Bank also intends to follow up on these projects with a proposed project title: “Modernizing the Public Sector to Improve Service Delivery”. This proposed project, which is in its development phase, will pick up where the (PFMRISP) and (ITASP) leave off with the aim of implementing full automation of financial management activities in government. A case study of this project was successfully implemented by the World Bank in Rwanda.

We also appreciate the important role played by integrity institutions in providing prudent recommendations to improve our services. We take these recommendations very seriously and have appointed staff specifically responsible for monitoring the implementation of audit recommendations. To ensure we have a more independent and vibrant integrity sector, we have increased the budgets of all integrity institutions (optional – add an average percentage) in the current fiscal year 2022 budget to facilitate the achievement of their objectives.

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