The Treasury has set significant targets, Accountant-General says
14:10 - 19 January 2024
The Cyprus Treasury has set significant projects in its medium and long-term agenda that would facilitate more efficient and effective management of public resources and streamline public tenders, Andreas Antoniades, the new Accountant-General has said.
In an interview with CNA on the occasion of his appointment, Antoniades highlighted projects such as increasing joint procurement by various department of the public sector, to achieve economies of scale, a gradual transition to accrual accounting by 2027 that would better reflect public financial statements, as well as strengthening financial management systems that would enable a smooth transition to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
The Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus is an operationally independent department directly accountable to the Council of Ministers, with a mandate to oversee the lawful and responsible management of the public financial operations, by supporting the decision-making procedures and securing the effective implementation of the economic and fiscal policies, in a manner that serves the public interest.
"The treasury of the Republic was and will be consolidated as a modern and innovative organization, we operate as a team along with Deputy Accountant -General and the rest of our staff,” Antoniades told CNA.
ERP – Transition to accrual accounting
In terms of the transition to accrual accounting, Antoniades said an action plan has been drafted, featuring the unofficial presentation of the state’s financial statements on accrual basis for reference years of 2025 and 2026 followed by the official transition to accrual-accounting by 2027.
Accrual accounting is considered as a significant reform and will require the collaboration of all government Ministries and departments, he said. So far Cyprus presents its financial reports on cash-basis.
Enhancing FIMAS gradual transition to ERP
Following the failure to a project to implement the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in the public sector, due to the contractor’s inability to implement the project, the Treasury decided to “break up” the project in phases, beginning with the reform in the usage of financial management systems that would facilitate the transition to ERP.
Antoniades added that the reform of financial management systems will concern the integrated financial management system (FIMAS), the systems for the state wage bill, pensions, the salaries of the hourly-workers and the new pensions scheme, thereby implementing a more phased approach.
"We will not wait to change all these systems leading to a complete new system with the completion of the project, but we broke up the project to various systems and he have already an estimated implementation time-frame,” he said.
Joint public procurement for economies of scale
With regard to public procurement, Antoniades highlighted two main projects. The first entails the boost of professionalism in public procurement, as the Treasury will hire new accountants that would strengthen the team in public procurement - especially tenders for large projects such as those run by Public Works Department and Information Services Department.
Furthermore, the Treasury will increase joint procurement for provisions in both the government and wider public sector such as fuel and paper in a bid to secure more efficient management and savings via synergies and economies of scale.
With this project we aim to reduce significantly work load in some small departments such as village councils, which do not have the resources, specialization nor expertise to implement such small projects,” he said.