New financial solution to strengthen accountability and service delivery in Kiribati

PHOTO: Office of Te Beretitenti

A new Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) for Kiribati is expected to usher in a new era of efficiency in public service delivery and accountability for the island nation. 

Specifically designed for governments, the IFMIS is being provided by global Public Financial Management (PFM) solutions and advisory services firm FreeBalance and will be instrumental in supporting Kiribati’s Public Financial Management Reform and national development plans.

“The core priorities of the Kiribati Development Plan are to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality and injustice through inclusive economic growth, building human capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and strengthening the institutions of good governance and democracy,” said Kiribati Vice President and Minister for Finance and Economic Development Dr Teuea Toatu.

“Governance is one of our key priority areas and we look forward to strengthening accountability and improving service delivery through the implementation of the IFMIS.”

“The FreeBalance Accountability Suite™, which will form the backbone of the Government of Kiribati’s IFMIS, was designed specifically for the government,” FreeBalance President and CEO Manuel Schiappa Pietra said in an interview with Islands Business.  

The software, he said, will be configured and tailored to the specific needs of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) to plan and budget, as well as do budgetary, financial and procure-to-pay exchanges based on international good practices.

“The MFED will benefit from a unified approach and a single platform which simplifies reporting and controls for the national government.  The IFMIS  provides a unified approach throughout the government which will considerably improve data accessibility for informed decision making at all levels. The back-office and metadata layers are tightly unified to ensure proper controls and full automation,” Pietra said.

FreeBalance’s work across the globle means it is familiar with the chronic challenges faced by many small economies attempting to lift the standards of public service delivery and accountability by streamlining government processes with the help of suitable resource planning software solutions. 

“FreeBalance has found that the most effective approach  to support reform and modernisation is that of progressive activation – whereby key PFM functionality is rolled out progressively as the legal framework evolves and government capacity building programs mature,” said Pietra. 

The Kiribati project is funded by the Asian Development Bank and work has already started, with implementation expected to take 15 months.