The Integrated Financial Management and Accounting System (IFMAS) was not required to be implemented under the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA), former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali has clarified.
The IFMAS is an electronic method of accounting that was purchased some ten years ago from a Canadian firm with the intention of being implemented to replace all manual accounting systems used by the State.
Kaieteur News in its Sunday last edition published an article insinuating that massive corruption occurred under the CH&PA owing to its failure to implement the IFMAS.
The article, headlined “Irfaan Ali ran Housing’s $$$B accounts with ‘pencil and paper’ system”, detailed that though some $132 million was spent to purchase the system, it was not being used by the then Minister Ali and that this was rather “suspicious”.
Responding to the report, Ali explained that CH&PA is a semi-autonomous agency that operates its own independent accounting system.
He made it clear that the IFMAS accounting system was never intended to be an accounting solution for CH&PA.
“It is a known fact that the CH&PA is a semi-autonomous agency that kept its own bank accounts, hence, its own accounting system,” Ali reaffirmed.
He further proffered that CH&PA utilised Acc Pac computerised accounting system to maintain records of all the allottees. He explained that the system is integrated with the Land Management System that allows for greater efficiency and accountability.
Ali maintained that CH&PA has an effective accounting system; timely financial statements for audit; monthly financial reports for the Board of Directors for strategic decision making; information for management; and information for external stakeholders.
Furthermore, Ali highlighted that the Agency’s last audited financial statement was for 2014.
Against this backdrop, the former Minister lambasted the Kaieteur News for publishing an “uninformed”, “mischievous” and “misleading” article.
“This article as usual carries a sensational headline but short on substance,” he stated.
Meanwhile, reports are that the current administration is making attempts to integrate the IFMAS into the CH&PA operations.