The Ministry of Planning and Finance has finally announced the interface of its Integrated Financial Management Information System, Government Resource Planning (IFMIS-GRP) to BCTL’s automated transfer system called “Rede Transferências iha Momento Real” or R-TiMOR.
The Ministry of Planning and Finance and FreeBalance have started with the STP (Straight Through Processing) project in August 2014, with the primary aim to interface the government’s sole financial management information system to BCTL’s payment system. The initial discussion on GRP and R-TiMOR interface took place on the said year, which was participated by representatives of MoF, BCTL, FreeBalance, and Montran. Phase 1 of GRP-R-TiMOR interface (with semi-automated secure electronic payment advice – SEPA sent to BCTL) was started on May 2015 and successfully running until recently, January 2018.
The Minister of Planning and Finance, Rui A. Gomes and the Governor of Central Bank of Timor-Leste, Abraão de Vasconselos conveyed an invitation to all high ranking officials of RDTL including Ministers, Vice Ministers as well as the CEOs of the local commercial banks in TiMOR such as Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) bank, Bank Mandiri, Banco Nacional de Comercio Timor-Leste (BNCTL), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Caixa Geral de Depositos (BNU/CGD) and other relevant stake holders for the official launching ceremony of GRP-R-TiMOR (STP) interface that held on the 8th of February 2018, at the Conference Room of the MoPF Tower. The event launched by Prime Minister Mari Bim Amude Alkatiri.
On the 6th of February 2018, the initial batch consisting of 29 transactions was the very first set of fully-automated electronic payments processed successfully from MoF’s GRP system to BCTL’s R-TiMOR system in real-time as part of Phase 1 of this interface with local and international vendor payment transactions. Phase 2 implementation, which includes payroll and Bank Reconciliation. Lastly, Phase 3 implementation will focus on Revenue interface processing thru R-TiMOR is currently being discussed by both MoPF and BCTL.
The FreeBalance Government Resource Planning (GRP) solutions for central government provide predictability and control over budget execution, sound public finances and greater fiscal stability through improved transparency and accountability. The FreeBalance® Accountability Suite is a GRP solution that automates the management of the entire budget cycle, including policy-based budgeting, medium-term expenditure frameworks (MTEF), budget transfers, spending priorities, external resource management, special project accounts, and fiscal decentralization.
On the other hand, R-TiMOR system is a modern, automated, electronic payment system operated by BCTL and is connected to all commercial banks in Timor-Leste by a highly secure private interbank data network which enables payments to move readily, efficiently, and securely on real time from the payer to payee, across the respective banks’ settlement accounts at BCTL. R-TiMOR is the first developmental step for the future national payment system and it aims to guarantee all Timorese citizens, regardless of location or financial situation, access to affordable modern financial services.
Payments are processed by GRP to R-TiMOR, which transfers funds between the accounts of the participants held within the system. MoPF and BCTL guarantee that line ministries, autonomous public agencies, and municipalities will receive funds in their accounts very quickly and normally on the same day the payment is electronically sent. Currently, five local commercial banks are direct participants of R-TiMOR and MoPF as indirect participant.
The relevance of traditional bank services provision in actual agencies is constantly shrinking in the current financial world, where technology allows to introduce banking correspondence models whenever schools, commercial facilities, medical clinics, or even churches can take financial and basic payment roles, together with banks and licensed financial institutions, according to BCTL.
The official launch of the GRP-R-TiMOR (STP) interface of Ministry of Planning and Finance and BCTL marks a great and successful milestone for the Government of Timor-Leste and the whole nation that continues to support its fiscal reform efforts through improved transparency and accountability.