June 21, 2011Matthew Olivier
James Elrick, PR Specialist
Congratulations to the Government of Antigua & Barbuda.
Good article from 15 June 2011 on the CARIBARENA Antigua website titled, “Treasury Centralizes Payroll Processing”. The article describes how the Antigua & Barbuda Treasury Department has successfully added all weekly-paid government employees to its automated payroll system, effectively centralizing payroll processing. Automating payroll improves governance through electronic funds transfer rather than cash payments. It provides more effective decision information on improving capacity by showing costs and civil service talent. Civil service expenditure is often the highest cost in many government departments, so it has become critical to automate civil service management to improve efficiencies. You can read the full article here.
Accountant General Dr. Gittens of Antigua & Barbuda said “complete payroll automation would bring a number of advantages, including a more secure payroll process, the ability to accurately track employment in the government system, and production of a comprehensive list of government employees.”
Antigua & Barbuda uses the FreeBalance Accountability Suite as it modernizes the payroll system. The article mentions that, “The automation began five years ago with monthly paid established workers and pensioners being added to the payroll module of FreeBalance, the government’s integrated financial management system.”
This process eliminates the need for manual preparation of salary sheets and improves the Government’s record-keeping by ensuring the timely payments of all workers, after making the appropriate deductions. It provides improved linkages between the strategic outlook, planning and the allocation of scarce financial resources in Antigua & Barbuda. It also consolidates Government accounts at various commercial banks, strengthening the Treasury Department’s ability to better monitor its cash accounts. Elimination of manual preparation of salary sheets enables Government employees to focus their time and efforts on strategic projects and less on administrative duties. And, re-deployment of government human resources and accounting expertise to other ministries, departments, and agencies strengthens capacity and financial management leadership. The FreeBalance Accountability Suite also provides audit trails and reports with the ability to identify the originator of each transaction.
What’s also interesting are the people’s comments at the bottom of the article. If the comments signify anything, it is that the people/citizens are supportive of the initiatives the government is taking to reduce fraud, improve efficiencies and focus on important things.
As the article says, it has taken time to collect and input all the data required. But the good news is that it appears the data is close to being finalized. So now all the hard work will begin to pay dividends. Great news!
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