The Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced the successful implementation of Procure-to-Pay (P2P), which facilitates the procurement process and e-approval of purchase orders and requests at various federal entities in the country. Entities can now approve the purchase requests and direct the purchase order to the supplier within minutes – if all the required documents are available. This reaffirms MoF’s excellence in the government’s financial work management and the application of federal financial systems during the remote work period.
H.E. Mariam Mohammad Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Management of Financial Resources said: “The Ministry of Finance continues to enhance its services and implement best practices in digital transformation. This is in line with the ministry’s strategic vision to be the leading government entity when it comes to using best practices in government financial work. At MoF, we are keen to provide a successful model that showcases the UAE’s leadership in digital transformation applications. Furthermore, we aim to serve various business sectors and support federal entities to meet their operational requirements of services and goods to provide their vital services to the public.
“MoF will continue to improve its financial procedures, especially those related to government procurement, in accordance with new systems, decisions and circulars. This is to keep pace with the changes, ensure the application of financial procedures at all entities, as well as the sustainability of procedures, in order to preserve the excellence of the federal government. During COVID-19, MoF was able to maintain continuity and efficiency of the procurement procedures without interruption. All federal entities that use the federal financial system were able to complete their procurement and payments procedures remotely, without facing any technical difficulties.”
The application helps issuing practices and tenders according to procedures and regulations, and it conducts technical and financial evaluation as well as final awarding operations. It also enables suppliers to deliver invoices automatically through the suppliers’ portal, where the entities can approve them and complete the payment procedures without any manual action. The average invoice approval period is (5 days) – starting from the date the invoice submission by the supplier until the payment.
The ministry has added features to the application that allow monitoring of the completion of the supplier’s invoices by the competent financial department of each federal entity within a specific timeframe. In case of any delay, escalation is made against the late person to ensure the supplier’s entitlement arrives on time. Upon completion of auditing and approval of invoices, the amount of the invoice are directly transferred through the TMS system to the Central Bank of the UAE, then directly to the supplier’s bank account – suppliers are then notified via an email. If the suppliers face any problem, they can directly communicate with the Technical Support specialists at MoF.
While applying the system, MoF has ensured the independence of the entities and the non-existence of central procedures in the procurement operations. This is based on the procurement plan prepared by the entity, which is submitted to the system without interfering with the financial provisions of the entity. The application enables federal authorities’ officials to electronically and remotely approve all financial procedures for procurements and payments, based on the powers of accreditation granted to them as stated in the consolidated financial procedures manual. This can be done through mobile phone or tablets and at any time and place inside or outside the country.
To ensure the quality of the application, MoF has deployed the application to the federal entities in a phased manner. It was achieved by studying the entities’ work and formulating an action plan based on a timeline that takes into account the entities’ connections to other projects. In addition, several workshops were organised for specialists in federal entities to ascertain their requirements, followed by other workshops to review the design of the work cycle and ensure that the system matches the requirements of the entity. The ministry also provided technical and accounting support services to address all inquiries from federal entities and registered suppliers by contacting the support centre.
MoF issued a segregation of duties manual that included the Procure-to-Pay application, which clarifies the rules governing the principles of segregation of duties (ensuring that the same employee is not granted duties that conflict with one another). This ensures duties are distributed to more than one employee to ensure that no employee or group of employees can commit or conceal errors or defraud while processing transactions.
The segregation of duties manual is mandatory for all federal entities that use the federal financial system. It covers more than 200 rules and clearly identifies all potential conflicts of duties. The risks (Low / Medium / High) are categorised based on the degree of conflict. MoF supported this by creating an electronic system to segregate duties, to enable the federal government to enhance integrity, accuracy, transparency, accountability and internal control. This is part of its mission to manage and improve the financial resources of the federal government efficiently and creatively through effective financial policies, distinct capabilities and local and international relations. This is in order to achieve development, sustainability and integrity of the financial system in accordance with the highest international standards and best practices.