As the global COVID-19 pandemic spreads in the country, the Government of Liberia (GoL) is set to enhance and re-deploy Electronic Document Management System (EDMS).
The EDMS was first introduced in 2016 and is a framework of tools for managing the creation, use, and storage of documents in multiple formats that are created throughout an organization.
In 2016, the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP) hired the services of a local consulting firm, MWETANA Consulting and Technology Group, to develop and install the EDMS in five of the largest government ministries and agencies, namely: Health, Education, Foreign Affairs, Public Works, Finance and Development Planning, and the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, to improve record management and storage.
According to a press release by the MFDP and signed by its spokesperson, Patience Lango Senkpeni Kumeh, “The System was necessitated by the persistent issuance of Disclaimer Opinions on the Government’s Consolidated Financial Statements owing to the lack of sufficient documentation to support the financial statements of assertions.”
These Disclaimer Opinions, in effect, undermine the integrity and credibility of the government’s financial statements and challenge the PFM reform efforts. The adaptation of the EDMS was also geared towards transitioning from paper (mutual) to paperless (digital), thus avoiding the continuous disclaimers in GoL Audit process.
In the wisdom and vision of Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the system, the need arose to reenter a contractual agreement with Mwetana Consulting and Technology Group.
As part of the agreement, the entity will be responsible to provide technical support as well as knowledge transfer.
The newly designed, enhanced and customized system will consider all aspects of GoL‘s business process and workflow while working directly with the relevant stakeholders.
The government’s renewal of the contractual agreement comes at a time of immense demand for migration to digital as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The GoL through the World Bank Public Financial Management for Institution Strengthening Project (PFMRISP) financed the enhancement of the EDMS.
The new system will fully digitize all of government’s 107 entities. For example, through the usage of the newly designed EDMS, spending entities will be enabled to scan and upload all financial transactions to the MFDP over the fiber optic thus eliminating the need for a particular Ministry, Agency or Commission (MAC) to come over to the MFDP to follow-up on the status of any payment as finance officers would remain in their respective entities and track the movement of every transition online up to the preparation of checks.
A two-phase training exercise on the usage of the system is expected to be conducted at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for all participants of the six (6) piloted spending entities.
Phase 1 is intended for functional (end-users), which will bring together all participants of the six (6) piloted spending entities, while Phase 2 of the training exercise is for Information Technology professionals.