DBM launches new gov’t financial management system for better transparency, accountability
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), in partnership with Globe Telecom and FreeBalance, Inc., announced the implementation of a secure and reliable modern financial management information system to achieve better transparency, accountability, and efficiency among national government agencies.
For years, the government has been dealing with the processing of financial transactions manually while fiscal agencies utilize numerous stand-alone systems to generate financial information. According to the 2016 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessment, this situation resulted in the lack of budget credibility, lack of funding predictability, weak cash management system, and absence of a common budgetary and accounting classification.
Albert de Larrazabal, Globe Chief Commercial Officer, explained, “As a company committed to helping the Philippines become a digital nation, we are happy to be part of the government’s journey towards digital transformation. Through our information and communications technology arm, Globe Business, we will continue to explore ways on how organizations can best use ICT to promote process efficiencies and enhance delivery of services.”
Towards the road to becoming a digital nation, the new Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS), an integrated and fully-automated system, will be released to all national government agencies within the next year. The integrated and fully-automated platform will provide a sustainable Government Resource Planning (GRP) solution that is extensible, flexible and adaptable to reforms as well as suits a wide range of public financial requirements.
“With the implementation of BTMS, we will revolutionize the way we do things and will further improve our ability to deliver public service. The effective use of modern technology will strengthen our fiscal responsibility as it would allow us to keep an eye on the government financial status real time. We also believe that an improved and harmonized government financial process will provide more reliable and timely financial information leading to sound policy decision-making for executives, managers, and staff in the line and oversight agencies,” said Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
The BTMS project was awarded to the joint venture of Globe through its subsidiary, Innove Communications, and FreeBalance, Inc., a Canadian developer of software solutions for public financial management. For the project, Globe provided the infrastructure while FreeBalance developed the software based on globally-accepted solutions but configured and customized for the Philippine government.
Manuel Schiappa Pietra, President and CEO of FreeBalance, also encouraged the government to capitalize on the optimal value of BTMS. “Tapping the full features of BTMS, under the FreeBalance GRP platform, will help the government ensure a more responsive, transparent and accountable public expenditure management system. Dare I say that it will support improvement to PEFA assessment scorecards, reinforce the performance-informed budgeting, and drive for macroeconomic management,” he said.
The World Bank noted that the country’s public financial management would be more efficient with the existence of an integrated financial management system. By design, BTMS will support DBM in the maintenance and complete trailing of budget appropriations and balances for each national agency. In addition, it will work side by side with the high-level aggregation of processes relating to the collection, handling, and usage of cash resources undertaken by the Bureau of Treasury.
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