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IFMS proposals before Cabinet

Cabinet is considering proposals to expedite the implementation of government's much-delayed Integrated Financial Management System.

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DPSA minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the implementation of the IFMS is taking longer than originally planned "due to various challenges".
DPSA minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the implementation of the IFMS is taking longer than originally planned "due to various challenges".

Proposals to expedite the development and implementation of government's much-delayed Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) have been presented to Cabinet for consideration.

Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) spokesperson Tuso Zibula confirmed the proposals are currently before Cabinet, but declined to elaborate on the details. "I believe we need to await Cabinet processes; we can then elaborate on this matter," he says.

Public service and administration minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the department's intention is to get Cabinet approval as soon as possible. In reply to a parliamentary question posed by Joyce Moloi-Moropa, chairperson of Parliament's Public Service and Administration Committee, Sisulu admitted the development and implementation of the IFMS is taking longer than originally planned "due to various challenges that have been encountered".

"As a result of these challenges, a number of objective reviews were commissioned earlier this year. Based on the recommendations emanating from these reviews, a number of proposals have been formulated for submission to Cabinet," said Sisulu.

The multibillion-rand development of the IFMS was approved by Cabinet in 2005, but development has still not been finalised and government says implementation will only be completed by 2019. The programme aims to replace the numerous disparate, inadequate or outdated systems employed by the public service with a single solution aligned to the legislation, policies and directives informing management of public sector organisations.

In November last year, Lungisa Fuzile, director-general of the National Treasury, told Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts that all modules were to be developed before the end of 2013 and could then be tested.

Aspects of the IFMS were set to be rolled out to selected government departments in the new financial year, which started in April 2013. Whether this has been done is unclear, as the DPSA is not willing to comment until Cabinet has responded to the proposals.

Sisulu says in terms of the State IT Agency (SITA) Act, SITA must provide or maintain transversal information systems, such as the IFMS, for the public service. However, the development and implementation of the IFMS is jointly managed by National Treasury, DPSA and SITA. "Proposals are also under consideration to strengthen the governance of the IFMS programme," she says.

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