About RCU

Public Financial Management Reforms Program

The Public Financial Management (PFM) sector, like many others, suffered a severe decline during the civil crisis as transparency and accountability in the use of public resources was almost nonexistent. Most of the PFM institutions collapsed, systems failed and human capacity deteriorated culminating in a situation in which there was near complete absence of procedures in the application of public resources. With assistance from our partners, the Government enacted the PFM Act 2009 to strengthen greater transparency and accountability around public resources.

PFM Governance Framework

The PFM Steering Committee (SC) is the body responsible for strategic oversight of the reform program. It provides policy coordination and serves as the forum for resolving strategic issues impeding or attending program implementation. It is chaired by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, and includes the Minister of Justice, Minister of Internal Affair, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Director General Civil Service Agency, Auditor General, General Auditing Commission (GAC), and Executive Director General, Public Procurement. The committee meets quarterly.

The Project Technical Committee (PTC), is the forum where all Component Managers give status updates on the implementation of their program activities. Theme Leads are selected by the respective beneficiary departments or agencies for each of the five components of the Project. The PTC meets monthly.

At the technical and operational level, the Reforms Coordination Unit (RCU), set up in 2010 and headed by a Coordinator, is in charge of the day to day operational administration of PFM coordination. The RCU prepares the annual work-plan, annual budget, mid-term review, and annual assessment reports for consideration of the PFM SC. The unit also publishes quarterly and annually reports on the reforms.

In December 2011, the Government adopted the PFM Strategy and Action Plan (2010-2014) as the framework for the re-introduction of the necessary institutions, processes and procedures meant to enhance the PFM systems in Liberia. To finance the Action Plan, a number of Development Partners joined hands with the Government of Liberia, in providing financial support through a 28.55 million US Dollars Multi - Donor Trust Fund, under the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform project (IPFMRP).

The IPFMRP supports activities of the following entities:

• Ministry of Finance -Fiscal Affairs, Budget and Development Planning and Economic Management departments
• National Legislature- Public Accounts Committee and Legislative Budget Office
• Internal Audit Agency
• General Auditing Commission
• Public Procurement and Concessions Commission
• Liberia Revenue Authority
• Civil Service Agency
• Financial Management Training Program
• State- owned Enterprises Reporting Unit
Revised PFM Strategy and Action Plan

At the request of the Government of Liberia, an IMF-led Mission visited Liberia in September 23rd to October 4th 2013, to work with local counterparts in reviewing the existing strategy (2010-2014) and make amendments, for prioritization and sequencing, where necessary. The revised Strategy was endorsed by the Steering Committee in April of 2014 at its quarterly meeting.

The priority areas of the revised PFM Strategy are: PFM legal framework, Macro Economic management, Budget preparation, Budget Execution, the introduction, development, and rollout of the IFMIS, financial reporting, public procurement, internal audit, external audit and fiscal decentralization. Over the last six years the GoL has carried out reforms in priority areas with positive results. To measure our performance the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning have put in place a quarterly and annual reporting mechanism to keep our stakeholders informed of our progress and to enable us gauge our achievement against set targets.
More significantly, the Government subjects itself to an objective international review (Public Expenditure Financial Accountability framework (PEFA) every three years, of its PFM practices and procedures.
The latest PEFA assessment was done in 2012 under the guidance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The report returned a verdict of satisfactory progress in our PFM practices. In January 2014, the MoF carried out a PEFA self -assessment which will inform our progress since the 2012 IMF FAD assessment. The report is being finalized.
IFMIS- a “decent” tool for Public Financial Management Reform

The Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) is a budget management and accounting system being implemented by Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Finance to improve Public Expenditure Management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency across Ministries and Agencies. The IFMIS is designed to make use of modern information and communication technologies to help GoL plan and use its financial resources more efficiently and effectively.

The GoL IFMIS solution of the FreeBalance Accountability suite comprises the following modules; Performance Management, Public Financial Management, Treasury Management, Public Expenditure Management, Receipts Management and Civil Service Management. IFMIS processes, execution procedures and approvals are guided by the Public Finance Management Act of 2009, and the attendant Regulations issued under authority of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning (formerly Minister of Finance).

The Government of Liberia IFMIS program is informed by a phased implementation approach, which began with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Civil Service Agency Connectivity has since been extended to the General Auditing Commission (GAC). To date IFMIS is the vehicle driving public expenditure management in 19 Ministries and Agencies. Intense work is ongoing to ensure integration with other PFM systems in use by the Government such as the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) and CS-DRMS. The system is being upgraded with roll out planned for additional 17 Ministries and Agencies.

Benefits of the System Reporting:

• Timely and online information;
• more accurate reports for better decision making
• Easy consolidation of information.

Budget Execution

• Reduction in payment processing time from an average of 14 days to 3-5days. Additional improvements planned.
• Enhanced commitment and expenditure control
• Improved internal controls
• Automatic reconciliation of the operational bank accounts

Training and Change Management

• Positive Attitude and Work Habit Changes,
• Basic and advanced IT Skills
• Functional and technical skills
• Systems audit skills

ICT Infrastructure

• Modern Data Centre and common ICT platform
• Mini Data Centers at MOF and CSA
• Internal training facility at MOF

Human Resources and Payroll Management
As part of the IFMIS implementation, the Civil Service Agency is also implementing the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS). This process entails the creation of a valid employee database with complete and comprehensive information about all employees on Government of Liberia’s payroll, including biometric identification. All employees of the Government are now being paid out of the Civil Service Management System of IFMIS (CSM).