The project, which is being funded by the government with support from the World Bank, is expected to cost $4.3 million (about Shs11.6 billion).
Mr Muhanguzi said in a speech read for him at the launch of the project in Kampala on August 1 by Mr Charles Katerikawe, the acting director of local government administration, that because financial management and accountability is of great concern to many stakeholders, the automation of the financial management systems at local government level needs to be prioritised. “I am confident that the automation of the financial management systems will improve financial management and accountability in the local governments,” Mr Katerikawe said.
The centralised system, according to the consortium of three companies that won the bid to implement it, is capable of delivering critical public sector functioning, covering budgeting, financial planning and reporting, procurement and asset management, among others.
For instance, it can generate financial statements and reports, support automated posting of transactions, enable preparation and approval of budgets electronically, online receipting, invoicing and collection of both tax and none-tax revenues.
The Project Manager, IFMS, Mr Francis Okori, said it will initially be implemented in three phases. The pilot phase, which started after the launch, and is expected to be concluded in March 2012, will benefit Iganga, Kumi, Mubende, Nebbi, Ntungamo and Luwero districts. It will involve preparing sites, deploying hardware and software, end-user training and operational acceptance.
Mr Okori said the project, being implemented by Tanzania-based firm Techno Brain Limited, is expected to cover 160 sites in districts, municipal councils and town councils. Officials at the Ministry of Local Government say the project will not result in job losses.