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Government to roll out IFMS in councils

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By George Bulombola:

In a quest to enforce transparency and accountable in use of public funds, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has revealed plans to roll out use of Integrated Finance Management System (Ifmis) in the country’s 35 local authorizes.

This came out during a two-day training on Ifmis for top management teams of local authorities drawn from the northern region.

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MLGRD Chief Director, Ernest Ntchentche said the country has been awash with stories of mismanagement of public funds in some local authorities, hence the training for heads of sectors and district commissioners.

He added despite them not being finance officers they need to understand how Ifmis works hence the training.

“District Commissioners as financial controllers need to understand payment procedures through Ifmis so that they sign for things which they are conversant with thereby tracking resources which are in their control.

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“Now that government has secured funds to address issues of connectivity, it is envisaged that all local authorities will be able to process all payments through Ifmis without any challenge,” Ntchentche said.

Local Government Finance Committee Financial analyst, Syak Mwamondwe, added that Ifmis had already been installed in most local authorities but the initiative was in some cases not effective due to internet connectivity and lack of compliance.

District Commissioner (DC) for Karonga, Paul Kalilombe, said the training was of paramount importance for management teams of the local authorities in as far as control of public resources is concerned.

“Local authorities receive and manage huge amounts of funds, so it is imperative that DCs as controlling officers understand how Ifmis operates,” Kalilombe said.

Ifmis was first introduced in 2009 with a few government ministries, local authorities and departments until 2014 when the system was installed in all local authorities amid challenges of internet connectivity and human capacity.—Mana

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