A lot has been said about Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) with some calling the system ineffective in terms of preventing the loss of public funds. The truth is that all these allegations have been raised without really understating what really IFMIS is and how the system actually works.
The first thing to understand is that IFMIS is an automated public financial management system that is tasked with interlinking planning, budgeting, expenditure management and control, accounting, auditing and reporting. The term to note here is that IFMIS is a system. This is a system that is operated and controlled by human beings. This implies that system has no power to differentiate between what is the right value and what is the wrong value because the system works as authorized and if all the chains of command are followed even if the value is wrong, then the system will work. The system is as good as its users.
We should actually not blame the system but blame the users because it is the moral compass of the users of the system that is broken but not the system. You can have the best system ever in the world, but if that system lack men and women of integrity to run it, the system will not actually give you the satisfactory results.
Was it not for the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) a lot of money would have been stolen without the public getting to know anything about it. Thanks to IFMIS, cases of the massive misuse of public funds have been brought into the public know. Initially, when transactions used to be done manually, no one would know how much is being stolen but with IFMIS, red flags are raised whenever there is an irregularity. The system has actually succeeded in bring to the surface these cases. The system has also made it easy in the process of dispensing justice because relevant organs like the judiciary and the anticorruption agencies are able to get full information that helps them during an investigation.
It is through IFMIS that procurement processes at both the National and County government levels is now online. The procurement process has now fully been automated all the ways from the awarding of the tender to the making of the final payment. This has led to the increase of transparency as well as the accountability over the entire life-cycle of a procurement transaction, from procurement planning to payment. Initially, when procurement processes used to be done manually, there was massive wastage of public funds because payments used to be made sometimes to goods that do not exist. There used to be also the rigging of tenders and no due process was ever followed. IFMIS has abolished all these channels that were open for the loss of public funds and now the process is done in an open and trustworthy manner.
IFMIS has actually done it. There is a substantial increase in the use of the IFMIS electronic procurement process system among government agencies following the successful training of officers from different government entities. The surge in the use of the online platform clearly demonstrates the readiness among government procuring entities to take up not just the tender portal but the entire automated procurement and payment platform.
IFMIS aims at being an excellently secure, reliable, efficient, effective and fully integrated financial management system and its mission is to passionately and with commitment to enhance its capacities to innovate, and leverage the best of technology, to provide for a fully integrated financial management system.