Persistent technical hiccups affecting government’s online accounting platform - Government Accounting and Budgeting System (GABS) are expected to cease before end of March, the Minister of Finance has revealed. The Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame, presenting the 2024/2025 Recurrent and Development Budget proposals for the Ministry of Finance said GABS has been sub-optimal since August 2023.

She bemoaned that the system has become slow and is unable to optimally carry out some of its critical operational transactions, such as payment to suppliers for goods and services, updating government expenditure and balances and payroll processing. “It has been noted that the GABS system challenges are mainly associated with its hardware infrastructure,” said Serame. Serame said to address the challenge besieging GABS, preparations are underway to implement long-term solutions, including the purchase of two Oracle Supercluster (OSC) servers to house GABS. “Both machines are expected to be operational by the end of this financial year (2023/2024).”

Serame said other interventions include the setting-up of a Call Centre to assist customers with outstanding payments since November 2023. The development is expected to be relief to most entrepreneurs and start-ups doing business with government and have been hamstrung after failing to get payments from government on time. Despite systems challenge, government has also implemented other new ministry online services, to stay relevant and in the journey to transition into a knowledge-based economy, making more services available online.

“For this purpose, electronic payslips (e-payslips) are available to all public employees, and to date, 104 586 of the 129 000 government employees are currently receiving payslips online,” said Serame, citing that the remaining staff will receive their e-payslips before the end of this financial year 2023/2024, when manual payslips will be phased out. Meanwhile, Serame’s proposed development budget for the 2024/2025 financial year indicates that computerisation, which is associated with digital transformation will gobble P48 739 941.