By Amin Kef Sesay
In line with the National Innovation and Digital Strategy (NIDS) that was launched by President Julius Maada Bio, the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), have been working on digital interventions to ensure fiscal discipline and the efficient and effective utilization of public funds and one of such interventions is the introduction of the Electronics Expenditure Management System (EEMS).
This system is a web-based system jointly designed and developed by the Ministry of Finance and DSTI to streamline and automate the end-to-end processing of payments in the public service, from the paper-based PETS forms and vouchers.
In rolling out of the EEMS, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) on the 15th January 2020 at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown, trained cabinet Ministers and Deputies on Electronics Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (E-PETS).
The Business Analyst at the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, Madam Binta Diop, said the new approach to process PETS forms and vouchers has been extensively reviewed and tested so as to reduce processing time for payment and increased users’ convenience, improve on tracking and enhance transparency in public sector transactions.
According to her, some of the key benefits of the system are that it can help vote controllers and other relevant stakeholders to track their forms in real time, both internally within their Ministries, Departments and Agencies and externally in the Ministry of Finance. The app makes it easier for vote controllers to approve forms, and also make auditing purposes much easier.
After the training, the joint team from DSTI and MoF will be conducting training for all users to ensure ease of utilizing the system.
MoF and DSTI are working on the roll out of the EEMS to MDAs including Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) users, and it is expected to be completed by 1st April this year.