Director General in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Devon Rowe, has explained that implementation of the proposed Central Treasury Management System (CTMS), will allow the Government to modernise its operations and maximise the use of its resources.
“We can see improved cash management immediately, because government will have access and sight of all its cash at one time and be able to make payments as are appropriate,” he said.
Mr. Rowe was speaking on the topic: ‘The Central Treasury Management System and its Implications’, at a seminar on February 16, at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), in Kingston.
The CTMS aims to ensure better management of public resources, by bringing the responsibility for treasury management under one agency, thereby eliminating the overlap, duplication and inefficiencies of the current system.
According to a brief on the CTMS, its implementation will be under the control of the Accountant General’s Department (AGD), operating a Treasury Single Account (TSA), to improve cash management.
“The TSA takes advantage of the concentration of cash to get the most efficient use for government. Cash will be managed by accounting codes, which will eliminate the need for hundreds of bank accounts,” the document points out.
The Director General said the system calls for improved fiscal governance as the government would be forced to engage in better budget management, better budget preparation and improved cash management, noting that “action is already underway to ensure that all those things are put in place."
Mr. Rowe envisaged that the system is going to “change the face of how government interacts with its clients.” For example, he pointed out that the system would see pensioners receiving their money electronically.
“Today we have 28,000 pensioners, 15,000 of them receive cheques. We hope, over time, that we will move to electronic transfers, similar to the way that we now do with salaries – that your payments show up in your bank accounts,” Mr. Rowe said.
He said the plan is to do the same for beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
The Director General further pointed out that re-organisation would be required in the different ministries, departments and agencies to see to the successful implementation of the system.
Director, Consolidated Funds, AGD, Leo Johnson, said that for the CTMS to work effectively, there must be fiscal discipline, “and this must take place with all the participants."
Pointing to some of the implications of the CTMS, Mr. Johnson said that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would have to be more precise when preparing their monthly expenditure projections.
“You should be as precise as possible, not only in the figures but in your timing. We would not necessarily want to have funds tied up in the accounts of the ministries and departments,” he said.
Mr. Johnson emphasised that MDAs would have to ensure that all required payment details are present on vouchers; the information is accurate; and that the payment details are submitted to the AGD in a timely manner.
An interim CTMS is to be in place by the second quarter of the next financial year.
The seminar was hosted by Level Four participants of the certificate course in Administrative Management (CAM 4), as part of their final examination.
CONTACT: ALECIA SMITH