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Primarily, this research aimed at identifying and assessing the effect of the forces behind successful implementation of Government Integrated financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) in Nigeria. This is because; adoption of GIFMIS becomes imperative in the country’s effort towards adoptingunified and higher quality accounting standards (IPSAS).Using descriptive (survey method) research design, the study sourced datawith a Single Structured Questionnaire from twelve
states in three (3) out of six geo-political zones. It was identified that; Infrastructural Cost, Stakeholders’ Commitment and Management backing are forces (factors) responsible for the successful implementation of GIFMIS though,management backing has negative impact on the process. Multivariate regression wasemployed and fortified with ANOVA to measure the effect of these factors on the implementation of GIFMIS in Nigeria. The studyfinally concludes that, GIFMIS is one of the core requirements for IPSAS adoption. However, implementation of GIFMIS itself heavily relies on the three main factors identified. It is therefore recommended that, Government should put more effort and resources to provideInfrastructures required for it implementation and seriously engage in training and sustaining qualified accountants on GIFMIS/IPSAS issues while senior stakeholders should be sensitized to support the exercise. Moreover, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria(FRC) as the sole body responsible for the regulation of financial reporting in Nigeria should review and update it monitoring and supervision mandate to accommodate systems integration and harmonization of International Standards as well
to emphasize much about their simplicity.
Keywords; GIFMIS, GIFMIS-Framework, IPSAS, Implementation and adoption
1.1 Background to the study
Federal Government in Nigeria, through its circular Ref. No. TRY/A8 & B8 of 22nd October, 2008
directed that payments of all funds from the Federal Government be made electronically as from 1st
January, 2009. The introduction of electronic payment in Nigeria was initially aimed to eliminate
the un-acceptable delay in the process of government contractors by minimizing interaction
between contractors and government officials who have role to play in the payment system, but the
idea was extended to cover all government financial management information system from budget
preparation to execution and also the recording and reporting from any government fund, with effect from January 1st 2009 (Taiwo, Tajuddeen and Ebenezer,2011). The effort is to check corruption, reduce wastages of government funds, and restore efficiency, accountability and transparency in funds management of the Nigerian public sector. This is in line with the ongoing Government effort to fully implement IPSAS framework.Heald (2003) assert that International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) is at present the focal point of global revolution in government accounting in response to calls for greater government financial accountability and transparency.
Government integrated financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) was conceived in July 2003 though, GIFMIS was introduced in 2011 but fully started in 2012 with a total of 93MDAs of Federal Government as phase 1. However the implementation later turned somehow optional by the remaining MDAsand most of the 36 State Governments continue to operate their manual accounting system.
It should be noted that, the establishment of an integrated system with InfoTech philosophy like GIFMIS has become necessary for the country’s move toward IPSAS adoption and is often regarded as a precondition for achieving effective management of budgetary resources (Diamond et al, 2005). Essentially, integrated financial management information system (IFMIS) involved the use of information and communication technology in financial operations to support management and budget decisions, fiduciary responsibilities and the preparation of financial statements (John and Eva, 2014).
In the public sector context, Integrated Financial Management and Information System(IFMIS) refers to the computerization of the public financial management processes, from budget preparation and execution to accounting, recording and reporting, with the help of an integrated system for financial management of all ministries department and agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria`s public sector operations.
IFMIS Implementation requires many different government structures to turn around and make them to work with common tools. To begin with, for the information to be coherent, all
administrative units national as well as regional and local governments, when applicable have to adopt a common “language”, in the form of a uniform Chart of Accounts (Sherriff,2015).
GIFMIS overall objective is to implement a computerized financial management information system for the Federal Government of Nigeria(FGN), which is efficient, effective, and user friendly and which: Increases the ability of FGN to undertake central control and monitoring of expenditure and receipts in the MDAs, Increases the ability to access information on financial and operational performance, Increases internal controls to prevent and detect potential and actual fraud, Increases the ability to access information on government cash position and economic performance, Improves medium term planning through a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Provides the ability to understand the costs of groups of activities and tasks, Increases the ability to demonstrate accountability and transparency to the public and cooperating partners.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Literature have kept researches which made comparative studies in public sector accounting for the need to have high quality but harmonized Standards (Onuorah and Chichi 2012; Ejere 2012;Hedger and Black;2008;Ryan and Wash 2004;Curristine, lonti and Jounmard 2008; Heerden and Stern 2012; Lloyd 2013;Joss 2001;Vosselman 2001). However, some of these studies attempted to createa link between the Accountability and challenges in the public financial Management (Frost 2012; Ebai and Forge 2009; Badamdory 2010). Other researchers focused on the diversity in the timing of the IPSAS adoption process (Carlin 2005; Van Der Hoek 2005).While some centered on the Benefits and Instituational issues of IPSAS (Ijeoma and Oghoghomei 2014; Toudas and Poutos 2013).
Nigerian government has for a long time been much concerned over the persistent poor performance in financial management due to lack of reliable and timely information for decision making. The government has also come up with programs that will institutionalize a culture of accountability, transparency and a measure of achievement. One of such effort was the introductionof GIFMIS framework in the year July, 2003.
Despite all these efforts to migrate from the manual accounting systemto a well-designed framework for sound public financial management, the implementation of GIFMIS remains a stagnant effort, as the process still facing sabotage and resources wastage.
1.3 Research Objectives
The main objective of this research is therefore, to identify the forces affecting the implementation of GIFMIS and assess their impact on the process in Nigeria. The study is however streamlined to focus on the following key issues:
To ascertain the understanding of GIFMIS framework among the stakeholders involved in the implementation process.
To ascertain the impression of the stakeholders involved in the implementation process about modalities and infrastructures required.
To identify the critical success factors (dynamic forces) responsible for the successful implementation of GIFMISframework in Nigeria
To ascertain the impact of the critical success factors on the implementation process of GIFMISframework in Nigeria.
To ascertain the viability of GIFMIS implementation towards the adoption of IPSAS in the Nigeria public sector.
To assess the readiness of the reporting governments on the speedy implantation of GIFMIS framework towards achieving IPSAS adoption dateline.
To ascertain the possibility of sustaining GIFMISframework in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
What is the understanding of the key government accounting and finance staffson GIFMISframework?
What is the impression of the key government accounting and finance staffs about modalities involved in the implementation of GIFMISframework?
What are the critical success factors (dynamic forces) responsible for the successful implementation of GIFMIS framework in Nigeria?
What will be the impact of the factors identified above on the implementation process ofGIFMISframework in Nigeria?
What will be the overall effect of the GIFMISframework on the IPSAS adoption in Nigeria?
Is GIFMISframework sustainable in the Nigeria public sector?
What is the total readiness of the reporting government to match IPSAS adoption dateline through implementation of GIFMISframework?
1.4 Research Hypothesis
Ho: Infrastructural Cost, Stakeholders’ Commitment and Management backing have no significant impact on the GIFMIS implementation in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be significant contribution to theknowledge especially literature in Public Sector Management and Government Financial reporting in general. The government policy makers will alsofound the findings of this study usefulin addressing the identified shortcomings of the newly accounting systems so far installed.
General public as the stakeholders in government accountingwill also benefit from this work.This is for clear fact that, they will now comprehend better, why will there be a paradigm shift in the processes involved in preparation and presentation of government accounting, and will have confidence in the information generated using this framework.
Finally, policy makers (legislative arm of Government) will also find this research useful in their oversight mandate on the Public funds custodian and for the purpose of Re-engineering the system.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study was carried out on the 12 States randomly choosing from among three Geo-political zones in the country. And it’s onlyinvolvedkey management staffs of final/consolidated account units of their treasury Departments. This is mainly because, these personnel are perceived to be closer in practice to GIFMIS framework than any other accounting and finance staffs at the state level.
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