Economy May 14, 2015 | 11:24 am

World Bank helps Dominican Republic’s cities boost transparency

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s Finance Ministry and the World Bank on Thursday announced the launch of a financial management and municipal information system as part of the Caribbean country’s thrust to improve accountability and transparency in its cities.

Finance minister Simon Lizardo Mezquita launched the Municipal Development Project (PRODE) financed by the World Bank in a ceremony at the Central Bank, where he pledged a "strong commitment to support the sustainability of the effort to consolidate and strengthen the management and accountability of public funds.”

“The Ministry of Finance assumes this important accompaniment to form part of the efforts to consolidate management accountability, oversight of public resources and promote the strengthening of municipalities through higher levels of governance and transparency," the official said.

The World Bank said the Integrated Financial Municipal Management System (Municipal IFMS) is a cutting-edge software which allows the participating municipalities to record data online, publish data user-friendly, and allow access to information monitoring agents to inform about the local governments’ financial management.

"With the launch of the municipal IFMS, we expect councils and other municipal bodies to use this tool to improve the quality of municipal services and accountability to the governing bodies in an expeditious, friendly, efficient and reliable manner," said Franklin Labour, head of Territorial Planning and Development (DGODT) of the Economy, Planning and Development Ministry’s (MEPYD) PRODEM project.

“The initiative is based on the cooperation that already exists between bilateral and multilateral agencies members of the Interagency Cluster for Governance and Public Finance, and prominent members of civil society and local authorities,” it said, noting that it’s also in keeping with pillar 1 of the National Development Strategy (END2030) on strengthening financial management.

Among the pilot municipalities figure Yamasa, Bayaguana, Pueblo Viejo, Las Matas de Farfan, Padre las Casas, Sabana Grande de Boya, Tamayo, Polo, Enriquillo, La Cienaga and Paraiso.

“The main objective of the initiative is part of the Municipal Development Project (PRODEM) funded by the World Bank, to strengthen the management of local governments and improve municipal services,” the statement says.

Among the speakers in the launch were Ramon Sarante, director of PAFI / SIGEF, and Kelvin Garcia of ONETEL KDK, company that will implement the Municipal IFMS.

Public Administration minister Ramon Ventura Camejo, Economy Deputy Planning (MEPYD) minister Juan Monegro, World Bank representative McDonald Benjamin and World Bank Senior Financial Management specialist Maritza Rodriguez also attended the launch.

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