December 22, 2008Doug Hadden
This blog explores sustainable Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Public Financial Management (PFM). We explore proven techniques and technology from countries around the world, with a special focus on governments in Emerging Economies.
Governments have experienced mixed results when implementing ICT for PFM. FreeBalance customers have been very successful compared to industry averages.
We hope that we can share our practical experiences and market research to assist civil servants to optimize PFM systems, regardless of systems used.
What is Sustainability?
We are focusing on sustainability because we believe this to ne the most critical success factor. We define sustainability as:
- Implemented successfully – on-time and on-budget and meets government objectives
- Government control – civil servants manage entire system, not foreign consultants
- Adapts to reform – meets needs for modernization including civil service reform
- Lower cost of ownership – inexpensive to upgrade to new versions and support installed base
- Rolls out across government – can be installed in line ministries and sub-national government organizations
- Improves government outcomes – enables audit and performance management
- Environmentally sustainable – minimizes the use of electricity and non-renewable resources
- Sustainable fiscal program – provides effective tools for fiscal discipline including sustainable budgets
Explorations in Sustainability
We plan to explore important themes in sustainability:
- Capacity building – what techniques effectively build civil service ICT and PFM capacity?
- PFM sequencing – what PFM functionality has the most benefit at different stages of modernization? How do government needs and objectives change priorities?
- Implementation good practices – how can PFM project be managed for optimal results?
- Software maintenance – what software support, maintenance and upgrade methods are most effective? How should maintenance be priced? How can support be optimized
- Build or buy – what PFM software should be developed in-house and what should be acquired off-the-shelf? Which option adapts best to change?
- Open source – when should open source or commercial software be considered for government financial management? Which option has the lowest cost of ownership?
- Cloud computing – how can governments leverage cloud computing and shared services to reduce costs and improve efficiency?
- User interaction – how can software be designed to be easier to use and maintain?
- Total Cost of Sustainability – how long term costs can be reduced.