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Ifmis ‘breaks down’

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Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been struggling to implement financial management activities following the breakdown of the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (Ifmis) three weeks ago.

The development has affected some crucial MDAs including Parliament where some Parliamentary committees are failing to meet due to the system’s failure to produce cheques for allowances and other activities.

But Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson, David Sado, has said the financial system is functioning, albeit at a slow pace.

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Sado said government is in the process of replacing the old system hence some hitches on the system.

He said the government has purchased a server which will enable the system to start functioning properly effective this week.

Chairperson for the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament, Rhino Chiphiko, has described the breakdown as an attempt to slow down government’s expenditure.

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“When the system was presented to government, we were assured that it was fool-proof, which is not the case now,” Chiphiko said.

He has called for an overhaul of controversial financial system.

Launched in 2005, the system has received opposition from different quarters, including Members of Parliament and donors.

According to a recent inquiry report that the office of the Auditor General and Price Waterhouse Coopers produced, the system is marred with technological loopholes which make it prone to abuse and possible loss of public funds.

The audit revealed that unidentified users were capable of logging into the system, remotely, while others had multiple identities.

The audit reports revealed negligence on basic system security procedures and lack of data safeguards that made the system easy to manipulate by fraudsters.

The audit pointed out that those behind the system, which relies heavily on the overall network infrastructure of the government, failed to study and establish the network specifications required to meet Ifmis standard operations before its launch, hence the frequent failures.

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