Home | News    Wednesday 1 June 2011

South Sudan launches electronic public finance management

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May 31, 2011 (JUBA) - The government of the semi autonomous region of South Sudan on Tuesday said it is adopting electronic public finance management to seal graft avenues.

Speaking to reporters at the premises of the ministry of finance and economic planning in Juba, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, the under secretary in the ministry of finance announced the South Sudan government was launching public finance management system under a project called e-government.

Mabiordit said the government is currently taking all its top and middle level civil service leaders through electronic systems on public management. He further added that successful implementation of the project would mark part of what he called the gradual shift towards e-government and increased internet use in the delivery of public services.

The senior official said technocrats were crafting the way forward on government transformation through a connected government, noting that such a move would reduce or do away with issues such as ghost workers – who exist only on paper in order for officials to steal public funds.

He expressed hope that the government would improve its investment climate and recover lost ground in the fight against corruption by digitizing information of key sectors in the economy. The e-systems being given to government employees involve human resource and financial systems management, among others.

In 2006 South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, set up the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC) and in 2009 granted the commissioner’s office the power of prosecution. However, the SSACC has not prosecuted a single official in South Sudan.

Mabiordit added that the enforcement of e-government needed skilled human capital.

“Without proper training, implementation of e-government program can hit a wall but those trained will be able to train others from district to lower levels,” he said.

Numerous challenges, rapidly changing dynamics of world operational systems, have forced many governments and countries to switch on to ICT in a quest to simply work and enhance efficiency in both public and private systems.

The ongoing construction of the National ICT broadband backbone (NICTBB) stands is put forward by officials as a practical demonstrations of the South Sudan government’s commitment to promote ICT and enforce e-government in public delivery systems.

He said recognizing the importance of training, the e-government agency and Multi Training Center (MTC) were training government executives, at all levels — from national, regional, district down to the local government levels, to use the ICT systems.

Already, about 200 public servants, particularly from national and regional levels, have been trained on e-government systems, noting that the target is to train government executives at all levels.

“The next step is to take same knowledge down to the district and local government levels,” he said.

Mabiordit said the government uses a “train the trainers approach” - training a few officials who are then able to train others in their respective offices — at central, regional, district and local government levels.

He also suggested a shift to good examples of "m-Government", where alerts can be sent through text or SMS messages on a mobile phone to notify citizens that a request for assistance has been processed, that a permit needs to be renewed or that an emergency advisory notice has been issued.

According to him, government institutions have in the past fared worse than their private counterparts in e-practices because of lack of skilled personnel and failure to consult experts.

The official made the statement following the commencement of a two-week training for 25 customs officers from across South Sudan, which is due to become independent in July.

"Considering the importance of the role of customs towards the development of the new independent country, the training aims at enhancing and fostering the capacity of customs officers in Southern Sudan through the latest customs procedures in accordance with international standards", said Mabiordit.

He explained that the course is being conducted through the collaboration of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

"This training is part of technical support for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Government of Southern Sudan sponsored by JICA. It is a continuation of training given of the custom officers earlier this year. Twelve other customs officers had already received training in March 2011 at the KRA Training Institute in Mombasa, Kenya", he explained.

(ST)

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  • 1 June 2011 07:38, by Riak

    Good initiative anyway. But this alone won’t make any difference.

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  • 1 June 2011 07:38, by Ajiech M. Chol

    That is a good move Mr. Mabiordit, but corruptors can still manage to sneak their ghost names if the Department of Finance can not monitor that properly. All people should be paid by check, but not by cash in order to lessen public mismanagement.

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  • 1 June 2011 07:45, by Abyei Soil

    It is a welcome move you know if things are implemented in the way they are said then surely South Sudan will move on rapidily like South Korea because I can see some spontaneous changes among youth which are the wings of this country. They are there ready to use the available resources utilized them into benefit. Only govt can enable the path widening for them so far. So Mr Salvadore Garang Mabiordit, an e- government is welcome Idea but let it reach the whole South.

    Black Boy From Abyei.

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    • 1 June 2011 09:43, by dakin

      Why now? Not enough! Absolutely not enough! They first must be brought to book for the huge amount they had stolen from southerners

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      • 1 June 2011 10:19, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

        This is a very positive move to launch the electronic Financial Management System accross the Ministries and line Ministries. There is nothing like Ghost names that will appear either as all vendors shall be verified and closely monitored. However, i doubt whether the executives and Ministers will adopt and fluently use the new financial skills adopted. The issue of taking things for granted will still remain a challenge if those culprits who looted Government funds are not brought to book and face justice. The best way is access their properties and confisticated them and be dismissed. I know those who came with poor arabised financial knowledge full with duplications of vouchers through what they called Financial forms ranging from Form 1- 79 or more.

        It is this e-government Financial System that will also tackle issues related to procurement and contracting procedures. The expert should exclude Kenyan because of their corrupt nature.

        E-government Financial Management system should also include budgetary system and also a learnt site for Financial staff and all staff. All staff that shall be involved in Finance should have a financial access profile.

        The question is, will there be internet service to all Ministries and line Ministries? Please try it.

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  • 1 June 2011 11:06, by Man who knows truth

    I know the training was designed only to consume the budget allocated but not to achieve the target.They will not accept not to carry money in sacks like WFP going to distribute food,the system that has already made some more richer than what they deserve and left some families still marginalized!

    Man who knows truth

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  • 1 June 2011 11:09, by Jur Tier

    Mmmm! a big step forwards but being expert mentally before transferring it into the electronic world would be the ideal means of ensuring that public funds are well spent and managed effectively.

    Remember that western countries that are big consumers of the electronic systems do apply the mental skills before jumping into the computers. They only do so when they are confidence that what they are putting into the system is free of corruption.

    Otherwise, shifting to the electronic system with the corruptive management, poor planning and above all lack of technical experts would make no difference.

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  • 1 June 2011 15:09, by Nhomlawda

    Jumping to the top of the tree before climbing from the ground is an attempt in futility.
    It took Kenya 40 years of establishment before starting partial implementation of e-government but not even financial transaction/payment system.
    Let us first develop manual systems including developing operational guidelines and internalizing and operationalizing those systems before going e-government and electronic financial management systems.
    E-government is a costly project both in installation and management stage. It requires people of integrity and highly trained system trouble shooters, high system security software and servers and well respected system auditors to ensure that the system is not being abused by users and external fraudsters.
    The e-government server needs to be kept in secure host servers such as in the USA or UK or Switzerland servers companies. If the server is hosted cheaply in Kenya or Uganda then we much be sure we will have no government anymore because all the data of the government both financial, executive communication and sensitive staff development will be relayed to the enemy and we will be doomed.
    Do what you know first before jumping to complicated areas with high vulnerabilities.
    My advice to GOSS – Finance Ministry – corruption is fought by establishing dos and don’ts and establishing clear consequences for don’ts if broken but not systems that are broken intentionally and nothing happens to breaker of the system.

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  • 1 June 2011 23:08, by lakoda

    salvatore Garang, your very wrong announcing that you have adaopted electronic public finance management,you better started from simple to complex instead from complex to simple, how come your corruptees finance employees can management that software while your ministry have not even adopt single financial system for example your ministry shuold develop the following:
    1.Paysheet for the whole government
    2. Vouchers
    3. Invoice
    the above mentioned were simple tools for controlling systems.

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  • 4 April 2013 15:58, by dennishobson

    meyJEVk2BjKLufNP8tgit5rpZSkUJ1ssanyong madeira plastica composite decking An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics

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