Report exposes challenges in Ifmis
The Malawi 2063 first 10-Year Implementation Plan (MIP-1) report for 2023 has shown that there is slow progress by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to integrate the public Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) as a standalone system across councils and the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC).
Government launched the MIP- 1 during the opening ceremony of the 2021 National Development Conference at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.
The medium-term development strategy seeks to help Malawi graduate into a middle-income economy and achieve most of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The MIP-1 report says councils failed to make timely payments to several service providers, resulting in service providers cancelling business with the local authorities.
According to the report, the initiative was rolled out in some councils but progress to finalise it “is very slow”.
The report shows that introduction of Ifmis in councils was part of enhancing Public Sector Performance.
“An efficient public sector plays a vital role in the effective delivery of public goods and services. An effective public sector will encourage better decision making in enacting legislation; distributing income through mechanisms such as taxation or social security payments; and strengthening accountability for the stewardship of State resources,” the report reads.
Both Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe and Secretary to the Treasury MacDonald Mafuta Mwale were yet to respond to our questionnaire on why Ifmis continues to give challenges to ministries, departments and agencies.
Last week, the country held a National Development Conference which reviewed the performance of MIP-1.
Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance Gladys Ganda called on stakeholders to contribute to MIP-1, saying government’s budget is not enough to bring positive results.
In 2022, government departments told parliamentary committees that they had challenges using the new Ifmis, an experience which reportedly affected service delivery.
The overall resolution of Malawi 2063 vision is for Malawi to be an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialised upper-middle-income country by 2063.