Malawi govt includes ‘Cashgate’ software in bids

The Malawi Government has included  the software brand that has been in use for the country’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS)  which is blamed for “cashgate” corruption scandal as government prepares to install a new system at a cost of US$10 million.

Finance Minister Gondwe: espite the “Cashgate” issues, it had been decided to include Epicor as a contender because it has a number of more recent versions.

Finance Minister Gondwe: Despite the “Cashgate” issues, it had been decided to include Epicor as a contender because it has a number of more recent versions.

Malawi Government started calling for bids for a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system solution through the local press but withdrew the advertisement on Friday following criticism levelled against Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe for  allegedly favouring the existing software provider, Epicor, despite  the cashgate woes with IFMIS.

Gondwe, however , told a news conference  at Capital Hill in Lilongwe that as government is  currently working to migrate out of the system, it  would now tender for software companies and not packages as before, rejecting claims that they are clinging to the ‘cashgate’ software.

“We have to tender so that people should apply and no decision has been made yet. We don’t want to sustain a Cashgate situation, no. In fact we are working day and night to close the gaps,” he said.

The minister, while referring to studies by experts from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said migrating to new software would take a bit of time before it becomes functional.

“We know that the current system has deficiencies and our policy is to enhance the efficiencies such as speed and particularly we need to have a new server to increase the capacity of the present epicol 7.3 software,” stated the minister.

According to a document that experts prepared before government started calling for bids for a new ERP system, Treasury research ranked the top five appropriate ERP solutions as SAP; Oracle Financials; Microsoft Dynamics; Infor and Epicor.

The Treasury report indicated that it believed SAP and Oracle to be the best ERP solutions, with Oracle-based ERP described as being particularly suited to the Malawi Government due to its high customer satisfaction rate, wide range of functionality, far much more flexibility, and short implementation period.

Treasury Spokesperson Nations Msowoya  said even though Epicor ranks last on the top five list, it remains a reputable vendor in this area.

“The decision is to have only the world’s leading providers compete,” he said.

Findings by the treasury in a report released in November 2014 indicated that the Government has been operating the Epicor-based IFMIS since 2005 and it is reportedly believed that K92 billion was looted from state coffere from 2005 to 2012 and then K22 billion from 2012 to 2013.

Finance Minister Gondwe said that even despite the “Cashgate” issues, it had been decided to include Epicor as a contender because it has a number of more recent versions.

Gondwe said government withdrew tender advert  because government  realised that “it needed to do a lot more such as adding on specifications of the ERP to address current system’s weaknesses.”.

Accountant General Thomas Makiwa stated that the withdraw of the advert in the press is meant to enhance it as the initial one was devoid of some key information to the potential suppliers.

Meanwhile the treasury has put in place short to medium term strategies that will ensure that the current Epicor system operates optimally. These include improving the performance of the current system by reducing the size of the Epicor database and enhancing the server infrastructure by procuring new servers.

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mmalawi weniweni
Guest

Awo akuchemeka kuti anyaupe panji kuti skollies

kesterchipala
Guest

Palibe chabwino aliyese akufuna ndalama atcheya anachenjeresa anthu.chilungamo ndi mantha anapita Nazi gogo kamuzu.

Webster Lungu, The TechGuy
Guest
Webster Lungu, The TechGuy

10Million US Dollars? Wow! What for? Why not use some reputable open-source ERP systems, e.g COMPIERE ERP? I bet it’d do just fine and at a fraction of the price. For a poor country like my Malawi, Open-source is the way to go!!

tellme
Guest

well this has to be long term but if the software has to be updated every once at the same price then the government shouldnt dare to spend tax payers money on this. They should rather find an efficient way of auditing. The cash get scandal is still affecting us as a nation and as tax payer, those corrrupt people should be punished accordingly no plea whatsoever including that Kasambala no exceptions no no Malawians are tired zafika mkhosi..

pina
Guest

10 Million ndiyambiri, osakuzela bridge ya Lilongwe bwanji anyani inu. Muli ndinzeru di? Olo mdalamayo osakonzela misewu anthu akufa chikukwa cha poor roads and no roads signs. Ngakhale nzipatala kumanga china chinakwake.
anyani inu Eti. Nyaniso amaganiza koma a galu inu.

Zosautsa
Guest

Abale tikunamizana bwanji kodi. Do you mean we should be wasting time o discuss software which can be managed by people If the people who command the system are corrupt then the software will simply respond to the command. Nkhani ili apa ndi political will to fight corruption not what type of software to be adopted because any software can be manipulated by people who manage it.

Tizionera limodzi

Mbewazikathaanona nswiswiri
Guest

Ifmis does not steal but the officers do.Do not blame a software.

Kenkkk
Guest

The problem is not software or hardware, the problem is people. No matter how sophisticated the software is, it can’t stop people stealing public funds. The whole culture of thieving which has permeated and spread throughout the Malawian fabric thoughts and practices requires change of seismic proportions starting from the top to the bottom.

nyamalikiti
Guest
Colleagues, The issue here is that DPP is party of thieves. Lutepo bought Woget, Naming’omba, Chloride battery during Bingu time. DPP started stealing our money long time. When JB entered government found the stealing in full force. We have friends that were working for accountant general who told us how rampant theft was. From Ministers to clerks. There was no referee to theft. Free for all. Imagine how Mulli played with our money? This Government can not be trusted. Goodall Gondwe is a spedforce. He is too old for the job. Goodall Gondwe is another big thief. See the house… Read more »
MALAWIAN
Guest

With software or no software civil servants are used to stealling government money. Just imagine if the government department has not spent the monthly allocations through proper operations, to make sure that the money is finished they share through allowances as if they went to fields. As if this is not enough, they buy groceries and share amongst themselves. This is happening right at capital hill. If you want the proof, go and check the payment vouchers you will be shokced.

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