By Rebecca Chimjeka:
Malawi government has finalised a $13 million (approximately K9.6 billion) software deal for Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis).
Malawi News understands that the supplier is Twenty Third Century Systems, which also works in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe Wednesday confirmed the conclusion of the deal with the company whose headquarters is in Zimbabwe.
According to the minister, this means the country will have new financial management systems from 2019/2020 financial year.
“I can confirm we have finalised the procurement of Ifmis. We have spent $13 million on the procurement. This is the system that Zambia and Zimbabwe are using. I think it is a best deal,” Gondwe said.
Gondwe said the procurement of the new Ifms is expected to reduce fraud such as Cashgate and other financial misbehaviours that have been exploiting the weaknesses of the current system in government.
Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament Chairperson Rhino Chiphiko said the procurement of the new system should solve the longstanding issues of public finance management.
“This is a good development that will help government not lose money as it has been in the past years,” Chiphiko said.
The purchase has been completed three years after Baker Tilly report recommended that government should buy new software to avoid the repetition of `that saw over K30 billion looted from public coffers in just a space of two years.
In 2013, there were revelations that some civil servants were siphoning government money although Ifmis was in use.
Top government officials used fellow civil servants, especially in Information Technology Department and at Accountant General’s office, to log into the system remotely to steal public money.
Since Cashgate revelations, government has been struggling to replace Ifmis software called Epicor and the World Bank has been helping it source the latest version.