Government to monitor its finances online

Published: 10th August 2012 10:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2012 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

For better planning and efficient budget management, the finance department is putting in  place a web-based financial management system. The department has invited tenders for the Rs 100- crore massive information technology project and the last date for submission of tender proposals by the top-class IT firms is August 31.

According to sources in the finance department, around ten international IT companies such as IBM, HP, CMC, Infosys and HCL Technologies are eligible for filing the tenders. The fully web-based financial management can be done by the Level-5 Capable Maturity Model Institutions  (CMMIs) in the world. Sources said that the short-listed company would start developing a software by October and the first phase would be completed by June 2014 and the second phase by the end of that year.

t may  be recalled that the finance minister had hinted at introduction of web-based management of state’s finances in his budget speech this year.

Once the “futuristic enterprise class” solution is in place it will ensure transparency and accountability in the finance department.  The proposed system is necessary as the government has no information on a day-to-day basis where the money is locked up at various departments. For example, if the government sanctions Rs 50 crore under one head for a work and it is not spent entirely for any reason and, in the meanwhile, the same department seeks funds for some other work and the government has no money and is unable to sanction funds, the cumulative effect is development gets a dent. “In fact, money is available with the department. But it is not spent. Web-based financial management will help the government avoid such things and spend the money on the basis of need,” an official explained.

The objectives of the web-based management include  improved capability of planning and budget management through a collaborative approach among various divisions of the finance department. It controls excessive or fraudulent withdrawals. The management of receipts will also be improved.

On the expenditure side, heads of departments can directly monitor payments for the work executed on a regular basis. It also ensures physical target achievements. Besides, officials can access complete information on a real-time basis on debt, loans, investments and outstandings from even lower-level officers.

Sources said that the web-based management would help the finance department monitor cash flow for projects. As of now, the department has no single source that facilitates collation, presentation and utilisation of financial information. The present applications are not meeting the functional requirements of the department. The finance department is already making payments online. That is why no contractor is seen making rounds to the finance minister’s peshi nowadays.

The proposed software will also have e-payment gateway for the public to pay bills of all the departments. The software will be linked to the RBI and other banks. In case the government presents a cheque to a particular bank, sometimes the bank takes more than four days to remit the money into the government’s account. This can be avoided in future, an official said.

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