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UAE's MoFI ramps up IT

The UAE Ministry of Finance and Industry (MoFI) is implementing a new US$30 million IT system to migrate its Cobol system to the Oracle Financial Management Information System (FMIS), which allows electronic monitoring of all financial activities of the ministries. MoFI has signed up Abu Dhabi based CNS for the project.

The UAE Ministry of Finance and Industry (MoFI) is implementing an US$30 million IT system moving from its Cobol system to an Oracle platform as a part of its e-government initiatives. The government department has signed a contract with Computer Network Systems (CNS) for acquiring an Oracle Financial Management Information System (FMIS) to electronically monitor all finance related activities of UAE ministries.

“The FMIS will be capable of meeting all financial accounting and management needs. It is designed to take full advantage of internet and intranet interoperability,” says H.E. Khalid Ali Al Busatani, assistant undersecretary for budget and resources at MoFi.

Al Bustani added that while the existing financial system was fully automated, it required enhancement in order to be fully integrated with the overall e-government project.

The Oracle FMIS promises to decrease the paper work and the laborious transactions of issuing cheques by moving to electronic transactions and transfers. It will also facilitate MoFI’s procedures and stay in touch round the clock with customers, and will manage supplies and suppliers as well as all other information necessary for efficient decision making.

“Plans are underway to deliver a fully operational FMIS in January 2005. This project is the result of two years extensive studies and evaluation. Our assessment was not only based on best prices quoted for this project, but also on who has the most extensive experience and ability to deliver,” says Jassim Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary for accounting and audit.

The project is one of four initiatives launched by MoFI in order to increase the efficiency of government operations. The other projects include managing comprehensive quality programmes and performance budgeting, training the executive management and a high performance government programme.

“After finalising the overall strategy of the e-government project, we have brought into focus in the second phase the development of the FMIS. It stipulates the standards and policies and the overall decision-making structure within the e-government project management,” says H.E. Saqer Ghobash, undersecretary of the Ministry of Information and Culture.

Founded in 1987 by the Ghobash Group, the Abu Dhabi based CNS will work with MoFI to completed the massive project in two phases. The first phase to implement the e-system will facilitate certificates of origin and export permits to be requested online file without having to visit the Ministry. The roll-out of the new system will be carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

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