Vice Minister of Finance for Treasury Affairs, Dr. Ihab Aboeish, Stated:
Head of E-Finance announced:
GFMIS Project Manager, at the Ministry of Finance, said:
Minister of Finance, Dr. Mohamed Maait, stressed that the preparation, execution, and control of the State general budget through the application of the Government Financial Management Information System (GFMIS) is one of the best supporting methodologies for adopting new technology in the enhancement of the governance of the State financial system.
In the same context, this significant step shall help in achieving economic objectives, meeting developmental needs of the citizens, increasing efficiency of public spending at different administrative entities, oversighting financial performance, and tightening control over disbursement. In addition, it shall ensure not exceeding financial appropriations approved by the legislative authority, which in turns maintains debt and deficit rates and enhances national economy structure, clarified the minister.
Thanks to the “electronic budget”, the government has now the means to determine the volume of the State Public Treasury’s revenues and expenditures on an instant basis; and, hence, can accurately estimate the sound situation required to make right decisions related to the State public finance. In fact, this has been critically accentuated in times of internal and external crises and challenges, such as that of COVID-19 crisis, where the government successfully managed to address the negative repercussions of such pandemic and was hailed by international finance and credit rating institutions, added Dr. Maait.
In a workshop organized by the Minister on the means of applying GFMIS at the public economic entities, Dr. Maait stated that putting GFMIS into force at budgetary entities, of nearly 2637 accounting units, and linking it with the electronic payment and collection system “GPS” along with the Treasury Single Account “TSA”, assisted in closing final accounts of the budget which ended in the final day of the same fiscal year.
As such, the new FY budget can be applicable since the very first day of the new FY, which in turns enhances transparency and performance quality. Budget-financed entities are now able to fulfill their activities’ requirements and stick to their approved plans as per the allocated financial appropriations to enhance service quality and facilitate citizens’ access to them in different sectors.
Dr. Maait also pointed out the government’s significant efforts to multiply usage of “technological solutions” to ensure a continuous update of the automated financial systems per the latest international criteria and expertise, all within plans targeting the gradual transformation to “Digital Egypt”.
Proudly speaking, Dr. Maait demonstrated the course of applying the GFMIS system, dubbing it as ” a genuine Egyptian success story”. Thanks to efforts carried out by pure Egyptian minds and professional officials at the Ministry of Finance, the project successfully came to light. All previous concerns and challenges encountered in the pension automation project have been overcome, markin1g a new achievement to count.
Through an intensive timeline program, paper checks were canceled for all accounting units, with a total of 61 thousand account closures from December 2016 to November 2017. In parallel, work had been initiated to implement GFMIS from August 2017 to March 2018. All these procedures triggered more the digital transformation process and adoption of technology in advanced systems to control the State financial performance, he added.
In the same context, the Minister confirmed that the ‘GFMIS’ system is proved to be a successful cooperation experience with “E-Finance”, a developer of digital payments infrastructure. By its effect, many challenges can now be addressed, and necessary measures provided to facilitate the disbursement of financial enhancements to administrative entities in a timely manner. This shall help in establishing a good governance for public funds so as to direct public expenses to the specific areas having the State’s priority and to the citizens’ benefit.
The minister also reiterated that MoF is seeking to have a sustainable development and an electronic integration among the three electronic financial systems: “GFMIS”, “GPS” and “TSA”. This process shall help exercise better governance over expenses and revenues at the administrative entities, ensure the highest level of accuracy and protection to financial operations, safeguard the State’s rights in collecting payments, best utilize financial allocations, optimize and soundly manage public resources and promote financial performance as well.
The government has embarked on implementing the Cabinet’s decision on the application of GFMIS at the economic authorities and linking it with the State general budget, stated the minister further. All budgets of economic authorities are planned to be completely automated by June 2022, in a way that helps in exercising electronic governance over revenues and expenditures and in meeting the objectives of the State general budget.
The government is planning to have a gradual transformation to a comprehensive electronic system for managing public financial information, highlighted the minister. However, he noted that the existing system of records is still in place at the public economic authorities and operates in parallel with GFMIS until its full completion. Therefore, no electronic payment orders shall be issued except after registering disbursement forms and having them uploaded on the GFMIS system, he added. This shall ensure having financial control as well as enhance efficiency in implementing financial procedures, exploiting public resources, and providing accurate and instant data on the public financial information. Accordingly, public entities can effectively provide their services and accurately plan for managing public cash flows in a manner that enhances financial transparency.
Same announcements are stated by Dr. Ihab Aboeish, Vice Minister of Finance for Treasury Affairs, who highlighted government’s efforts to develop the State public finance as per the planned time schedule. The first step started by setting the required legislative framework, through preparing the General Unified Finance Law that was discussed by the Senate and referred to the House of Representatives. Following, work was directed towards establishing digital transformation pillars, providing training and technical support, and maintaining supervision through periodical electronic reports.
Dr. Aboeish has further expressed his plans to promote cooperation with the economic authorities in order to automate their budgets as of the next fiscal year, in light of the pilot implementation of GFMIS system slated to start next February. Enhancing financial governance across economic authorities is of great importance due to its significant impact on the national economy. It generally reflects and gives better image on the government’s economic activity, concluded Dr. Aboeish.
On his part, Engineer Ibrahim Sarhan, Head of E-Finance Co., hailed efforts of the Ministry of Finance in the fields of financial inclusion and digital transformation, noting its success in accurately and rapidly implementing the Egyptian government financial network through its three elements: GPS, TSA banking system and the GFMIS systems.
Eng. Sarhan also proudly stated that E-Finance is the success partner of the Ministry of Finance in the development process of the electronic systems of the Ministry and the relevant administrative entities. This is achieved thanks to establishing a highly advanced infrastructure of servers, devices, and supplies; all connected through a secure electronic network that conforms to the national and international criteria and is operated by qualified professionals.
Moreover, he remarked that the success recognized by the GFMIS in all the budgetary entities and its integration with the GPS and the TSA banking system motivated the government to extend this achievement through all the economic authorities thanks to its positive impact on supporting the Egyptian economy.
In a similar vein, Mr. Waleed Abduallah, Head of the Central Department of the Treasury Budget at the Ministry of Finance, and GFMIS project manager, illustrated that applying the GFMIS system to the State general budget aims to electronically connect all public bodies to develop a solid public finance management system. The same works to consolidate, control and computerize all public financial operations, as from budget preparation phase till its execution phase, in order to achieve financial control and efficiently exploit the State resources.
Ministry of Finance has laid down the main foundation necessary for the success of the electronic financial systems. Namely, it has enabled a legislative environment, a technological infrastructure, strong connection lines, as well as qualified staff who can professionally operate modern public finance management systems: GFMIS, TSA, electronic signature system, GPS, budget preparation system, as well as other systems for automating proceeds of revenue-generating authorities. All the aforementioned contributes to providing instant data on the budget performance and in achieving transparency and financial inclusion, highlighted Mr. Abduallah.
Concluding, Mr. Abduallh noted that given the close relationship between the State general budget and the economic authorities, that is based on amounts transferred by these authorities to the State Public Treasury, the GFMIS system is gradually being implemented across economic authorities and getting linked with the State general budget on the meantime. Therefore, automation of budgets of all the economic authorities is scheduled to be completed by June 2022, which shall enhance the electronic governance of revenues and expenditures and meet the objectives of the State general budget, he clarified.