AGD

Backgound

The New IFMIS is Malawi’s third attempt at installing a government financial management system. The selection of the SAP platform and its implementation approach was premised on the lessons learnt from the previous attempts and mistakes corrected.

Procurement of the New IFMIS System started in 2015. This process was Financed by World Bank under the Financial Reporting and Oversight Improvement Project (FROIP) in Malawi. Unfortunately, the FROIP project expired before acceptance of a successful bidder in April 2018.
The procurement process was an open tender and Malawi government decided to proceed with the procurement process using its own resources and thereafter awarded the contract to the successful bidder (Twenty Third Centuries) in March 2019.

Government of Malawi signed the contract with the supplier in March 2019 and project plan approved by the Steering Committee in June 2019 foresaw a “big bang” implementation whereby all required functionality would be operational for all central government budget agencies from July 2020.

However, emergence of multiple risks made government to revise the implementation strategy where a few selected votes were to be piloted. Ten MDAs have so far commenced transacting in the New IFMIS using core functionality from the start of 2020/21 FY.

Government is now operating using two (2) IFMIS Applications to process payments. The Epicor Based IFMIS (called the Current IFMIS) and the SAP Based IFMIS. The Epicor based IFMIS will be decommissioned once all votes (about 80) have been migrated to the SAP Based IFMIS (New IFMIS).

 

Evolution of the Accountant General’s Department

 

The Establishment of the Accountant Generals Department dates back to as early as 1890s when the country became a British Protectorate.  At the commencement of the Protectorate in 1891, Sir H.H. Johnstone, Governor of Nyasaland, was the sole Accountant. In 1892, the financial and accounting work of the protectorate was undertaken by a Chief Accountant who formed part of the Secretary’s office establishment. It is probable that the office of Treasury was instituted in 1903.

In 1921 when Income Tax was introduced, the Treasury took over its administration and collection. Up to 1932, in terms of the Colonial Regulations, the Treasurer was merely an Accountant General, the Secretary to the President and Cabinet being Chief Financial Advisor to Government. In Nyasaland, the Treasurer had in fact acted as the Financial Advisor.

In June, 1932 the Secretary of State directed that the Treasurer was to be regarded as the Financial Advisor to Government and the Chief Secretary to be primarily responsible for the preparation of the estimates.

In 1936, the Secretary of   State suggested, as a result of Sir Alan Pym’s report, a change in the financial organization to appoint a Financial Secretary to the Secretariat to deal with estimates, financial, economic and trade matters. This proposal saw the abolition of the post of Treasurer and the reversion of the Treasury to being a purely accounting and revenue collecting Department. The suggestion did not at once receive the approval of the Governor. However, as a result of the Bell Report of 1937, this suggestion was carried out and a Financial Secretary was appointed in 1939. The Treasury then became the Department of Accountant General and the title was changed to that of Central Accounts Branch in 1942. The Officer-In-Charge then was called the Chief Accountant. In 1948 the title reverted to Accountant General’s Department and Income Tax become a separate department.

 

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