The primary objective of the ongoing Financial Reforms in the Gambia is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure management processes, with the goal of enhancing the quantity and quality of public service delivery in the Gambia, and to strengthen financial management processes and systems in order to provide timely, transparent and accurate financial and accounting information across Government. The reforms being undertaken by the government of the Gambia (GOTG) are vital to the sustained effort to eradicate poverty.

 The existing government fiscal processes are characterized by a number of loopholes and weaknesses such as the lack of timely and relevant financial information for decision making, and the use of manual or partially automated routine tasks of planning, preparing and aggregating budget estimates. The current systems are glaringly inadequate especially with regard to tracking the collection and use of public funds.

 In order to combat these weaknesses, the Government of The Gambia received a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) towards the cost of Capacity Building for Economic Management Project (CBEMP), in order to improve the impact of Government resources on economic and social outcomes, and to foster economic growth supported by efficient, transparent and effective governance. The government has applied part of the proceeds of this credit to payments for the supply, installation and implementation of an Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). The IFMIS is a significant component of the CBEMP activities.

An IFMIS is a fiscal and financial management information system for Government that bundles all financial management functions into one suite of applications. In simple terms, it is an IT-based budgeting and accounting system designed to assist the Government entities to plan budget requests, spend their budgets, manage and report on their financial activities, and deliver services to the public more efficiently, effectively and economically.

The IFMIS operates on a common structure and platform that will enable improved compatibility and consistency of fiscal and financial information, and reduces Government’s overall investment in the development of expensive accounting systems in each Government entity. One of the basic features of the IFMIS is the ability to interface with a number of existing and planned automated systems such as the Central Revenue Department tax administration systems; Customs systems such as Asycuda and Central Bank systems in order to enhance program management.

The Gambia is one of many countries in Africa that have decided to implement an IFMIS to improve the fiscal management processes across all government entities. Similar systems have been implemented in a number of developed countries and in African countries such as Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa. The experiences of these countries in the implementation of the IFMIS provides valuable lessons for us and we are confident that with the support from all the stakeholders we will successfully develop a dependable and sustainable IFMIS that will lead to the achievement of improved public expenditure management in the Gambia.


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