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Story Highlights

  • The decision by the Government to transition the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) into a modern treasury management system is already reaping benefits.
  • Director General of the Public Financial Management Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Diane McIntosh, said with the reform process, which rolled out in June, the AGD is now in charge of central cash management and is making payments on behalf of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
  • The AGD is the nation’s treasury and the operational department within the Ministry of Finance and Planning, charged with facilitating and reporting on the flow of funds within the public sector.

The decision by the Government to transition the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) into a modern treasury management system is already reaping benefits.

Director General of the Public Financial Management Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Diane McIntosh, said with the reform process, which rolled out in June, the AGD is now in charge of central cash management and is making payments on behalf of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Ms. McIntosh, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Thursday (August 20, said the benefits of this move are being seen and felt, in that Government’s cash resources are now more aggregated, and electronic transfers are replacing the time and cost of printing cheques.

“A lot of the Accountant General’s processes have been manual for many years, so we are actually changing out those manual systems into much more rigorous Information Communication Technology (ICT)-centric operations,” Ms. McIntosh told the JIS News.

She noted for example, that in the past, pension cheques took close to five weeks to process, but with the implementation of a new customer-friendly pressure sealed format, the AGD can process cheques in five hours.

Ms. McIntosh told JIS News that implementation of the system was a key recommendation to correct deficiencies in the Ministry’s cash management process.

The move also formed part of the overall reform of the Public Financial Management system in the Ministry, aimed at creating a more efficient and effective administration of funds used to deliver services to the public.

Ms. McIntosh said cash management is a critical part of the country’s economic reform programme and hence, this reform in the operations of the treasury, is timely.

“Before, we would have a lot of accounts all over commercial banks, so what we have done is now close many of those accounts and we’re able then, to have a single account where we know where all our cash is, and we’re able to manage debt payments,” Ms. McIntosh informed.

“If you know where all your cash is, if you are able to account for and manage your debt payments in a more structured way …then we would have a better control on how we allocate our resources and then we are working on being more efficient,” she pointed out.

Ms. McIntosh said modernisation of the AGD will be ongoing.

The AGD is the nation’s treasury and the operational department within the Ministry of Finance and Planning, charged with facilitating and reporting on the flow of funds within the public sector.