Background and the rationale in designing a new scheme for the development, upgradation and implementation BACS and iBAS++ in Bangladesh:
PFM reform in Bangladesh started through forming a Committee on Reform in Budgeting and Expenditure Control (CORBEC) in 1989. Based on CORBEC recommendations Reform in Budgeting and Expenditure Control (RIBEC) project started in 1993 and ended in 2001. Through RIBEC, a 13-digit classification chart was introduced in FY 1997-98, automation of budgeting and accounts consolidation started in 1996-97, process started for improving Line Ministry accounting through establishing Management Accounting Units (MAU) in big ADP spending Ministries.
In 2003, Finance Division undertook Financial Management Reform Programme (FMRP)which helped introduce Medium Term Budgetary Framework (MTBF) in FY 2005-06 and implement home grown Integrated Budget and Accounting System (iBAS) in 2006-07. Finance Division started another project named ‘Deepening Medium Term Budget Framework (MTBF) and Strengthening Financial Accountability’, commonly known as DMTBF in 2010. Among the key activities of DMTBF project were development and implementation of new classification, making iBAS a centralized, Internet based true accounting system with option for online fund release, budget distribution and budget checking during payment. DMTBF ended in June 2014 with unfinished deliverables.
GoB financed ‘Public Expenditure Management Strengthening Programme’ (PEMSP) took over the unfinished activities of DMTBF, namely development and implementation of iBAS++ and BACS in 2015. PEMSP produced many outputs, however, PFM reform in Bangladesh was in the middle of a 'takeoff' stage. Reform tools like iBAS++ and BACS are ready for countrywide massive rollout and providing service delivery benefits to the citizen. Continuous and strengthened technical support at this stage is pivotal to ensure that the PFM reform initiatives and investments of last few decades are able to produce the desired result. As iBAS++ and BACS will act as the key vehicle to run the envisioned PFM reform by the SPFMS project, without adequate emphasis and investment in these two elements, which are the key areas of this scheme, the SPFMS will not be able to implement most of its activities and DLIs.
Objective of BACS and iBAS++:
To improve the comprehensiveness and timeliness of in-year budget out-turn reports that will enable decision-making by budget controlling offices and enhance transparency.
Disbursement Link Indicators & Results
SPFMS program is comprised with 10 Disbursement Link Indicators (DLIs) and under 10 DLIs there are 45 Disbursement Link Results (DLRs). Among them DLI 4 & 8 are related to Improvement of Public Financial Services Delivery through Implementation of BACS and iBAS++ Scheme. Under DLI 4 & 8 the following DLRs needed to be achieved throughout the span of this program:
DLI 4: Timely, reliable payments of salaries and vendor invoices with strengthened treasury single account and automated payment system
A stock-take of special accounts (including an assessment of the number of special accounts opened per year in prior years), EBFs (outside the TSA) has been completed($2mil)
50% of government payment transactions (in the relevant Fiscal Year in which the DLR is being assessed) are made through EFT ($3mil)
40% of DDOs submit all bills (payment requests) online (in the relevant Fiscal Year in which the DLR is being assessed($2mil)
The number of new special accounts (outside the TSA) opened (in the relevant Fiscal Year in which the DLR is being assessed) has been reduced by 50%($2mil)
DLI 8: Budget holders in MDAs effectively and transparently using financial information
The FY 2018/2019 budget (or, if the DLR is rolled over, the budget for the relevant Fiscal Year for which the DLR is being assessed) has been released on the Recipient’s new BACS ($2mil)
3 Priority iBAS++ Interfaces have been implemented and are operational ($2mil)
4 SAEs are using iBAS++ ($2mil)
Detailed budget execution reports published by the Finance Division on MoF’s official website on a quarterly basis, i.e. four reports published in the relevant year, (covering the relevant Fiscal Year in which the DLR is being assessed) ($2mil)
60% of Budget Holders generate 10 or more monthly iBAS++ reports for budget execution decisions for the relevant Fiscal Year in which the DLR is being assessed ($2mil)
Areas of the Scheme:
Integrated Budget and Accounting System (iBAS++) is the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB). iBAS++ has been a core component of financial reforms to promote real time transaction, transparency and comprehensiveness in financial reporting. It captures all financial transactions of GoB including receipts and payments and ensures better resource availability to enable service delivery. Application of EFT process in iBAS++ ensures quick delivery of services to the clients- govt. employees, vendors and social safety net recipient etc.
The system, as of now, contains as many as eight modules which support PFM functions like budget preparation, budget management, expenditure and payment management, accounting and fiscal reporting, Revenue and Receipt Management, Pension, Payroll and HR Management. It can generate more than 400 reports which helps in decision making, accounting and audits. Moreover, 8 MISs related social safety net have been handed over to this scheme in July 2020. Continuous operation of this scheme is pivotal for smooth running of the government financial management and providing speedy service delivery to the citizens.
Achievements of the Scheme:
The major achievements of this scheme are as follows-
Automated Challan (A-challan)" system has been introduced for consolidation of government revenue collection management, prevention of counterfeiting of invoices and immediate deposit of government revenue / fees in the government treasury.
100% employees including defense personnel are getting salary by EFT.
About 2.73 crore beneficiaries of 25 Social Safety Net Programs under the 8 Ministry/Division got social benefits by EFT of tk. 16,686 crore in FY 2021-2022.
Bringing all the Autonomous Bodies under the coverage of PL Account system, currently 25 ABs are using this system and by this financial year, 100 autonomous bodies will be brought under this system.
A sub module of iBAS++ has been developed to stock take of bank accounts of public sector organizations held outside TSA for better regulation to strengthen the TSA. By this time, the system received 10,074 bank accounts information from different institutions.
5 SAEs-PWD, RHD, Forest, Railway, DPHE are using iBAS++ and full-fledged implementation of iBAS++ in CGDF, Railways, Postal department.
Annual and Quarterly budget execution report published regularly at the Finance Division’s website.
Improving iBAS++ security as per ISO 27001 security standard.
Increasing the coverage of field level budget preparation; so far 669 field level offices have been prepared their budget through online and in next year (2023-24) about 1,722 field offices will prepare their budget.
iBAS++ introduced in 20 out of 78 Foreign Missions, rolling out of iBAS++ in remaining missions is in progress.
অতিরিক্ত সচিব, অর্থ বিভাগ, অর্থ মন্ত্রণালয়